A BANGOR-on-Dee farmer has been fined £12,000 after being found guilty of three waste offences by Wrexham Magistrates.
Richard Henry Brereton was also ordered to pay the £1,750 costs of Environment Agency Wales, which brought the prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act
1990. The court was told that agency officers first inspected land at Cottage Gorse Farm in August 2002 where they saw large quantities of waste material deposited on the site.
Investigations revealed the waste included rubble, vegetation, cookers, fridges, tyres, tiles, slates, metal, plastics and an exercise bike.
During October and November 2002 a covert surveillance operation found vehicles were routinely coming to the site and depositing waste.
On December 17, 2002, armed with a magistrate's warrant, nine agency officers and two officers from North Wales Police carried out a thorough inspection of the site.
This confirmed there were large quantities of household, building and green waste deposited on the fields around the farm.
Brereton was interviewed under caution and told officers that, although he did not own the land at the farm, he did control it.
He admitted allowing hardcore to be brought on to the land but denied allowing the rest of the waste, which he claimed must have been left by gipsies when he wasn't around.
He was fined £8,000 for knowingly permitting the deposit of controlled waste at Cottage Gorse Farm between April 14, 2002 and January 14, 2003 and £2,000 for keeping controlled waste on the land between August 16, 2002 and December 17, 2002.
He was fined a further £2,000 for disposing of controlled waste by burning between October 18, 2002 and December 17, 2002.
After the case an agency spokesperson said: 'The agency is very satisfied with this result. This was a significant operation involving a number of agency enforcement officers assisted by officers of North Wales Police.
'It indicates the seriousness with which the courts now view environmental offences and the agency is determined to take action against anyone found committing offences of this nature. Farmers and landowners in general need to take particular care to ensure their land is not used for unlicensed waste disposal.'
If you see pollution, illegal waste tipping, poaching, fish in distress or danger to the environment, call the agency's emergency hotline in confidence on 0800 807060.