A dump on fire

A man was forced to pay a bill of £25,000 to Cannock Magistrates court after illegally disposing of harmful asbestos sheets along with the carcass of a dead pig.

Local Rugeley farmer Dennis Ward was summoned before Cannock Magistrates court over allegations of an illegal fire containing sheets of asbestos along with the carcass of a dead pig.The 76-year-old pig farmer claims he was unaware that the blaze he had lit contained the asbestos sheets or the deceased animal. Amongst other materials found in the fire were fluorescent tubes, cans, tires, glass and plastic.

Ward who already owes £7,955 in fines for similar convictions in 2011, insisted in court he was innocent of the crime and that the materials in question had been placed there by travelers without his prior knowledge. In a courtroom outburst, he clenched his fists and yelled ‘I am not a liar’ before being ordered to leave the room.

After admitting to five breaches under the Environmental Protection Act – two charges of depositing controlled waste and three counts of disposing of it without a legal permit. Ward was ordered to pay £13,860 for his environmental offences as well as courtroom expenses of £3,360, with an additional £120 in victim surcharge.

On the 3 of November Cannock county council officials drove past the farmstead only to see a large fire visible from the roadside, the local fire brigade arrived on the scene shortly afterwards to tackle the blaze.

Attending again on the 3 of March firefighters and county officials made the discovery of a carpet roll along with the carcass of the pig and other harmful waste materials.

Speaking in court without any representation present Ward said, “One or two have given me money to get rid of rubbish, but I have refused it only for them to throw it back in my pocket. So I am as guilty as charged. I have had money.”

The local council authorities have since applied for a criminal behaviour order against Ward which will be .