Kent

Smarden businessman convicted over mattress 'mountain'

Mattresses Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The court heard the pile reached up to five metres high

A businessman accused of blighting a Kent village with a mountain of discarded mattresses has been found guilty of unlawfully depositing waste.

Lewis Bertram, who ran recycling firm Eco-Matters in Smarden, had denied the charge at Canterbury Crown Court.

Jurors convicted him of two counts of unlawfully depositing controlled waste and one count of failing to remove waste.

He is due to be sentenced on 3 February at the same court.

Further charges of failing to remove waste and failing to comply with a notice have been referred back to be heard at Canterbury Magistrates' Court.

'Five metres high'

During the trial, which followed an Environment Agency prosecution, jurors heard Bertram had more than double the amount of waste he was allowed on the site.

However, Bertram told the court the Environment Agency figure of 2,300 tonnes was "physically impossible" and there was a maximum of 500 to 800 tonnes.

Jurors heard he had a strict limit of processing 1,000 tonnes at a time.

The court heard the pile reached up to five metres in height.

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