Stockton waste boss broke rules to save thousands in landfill tax

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Image caption,
Bainbridge mis-described waste in order to pay less landfill tax

A company boss who saved thousands of pounds by breaking waste disposal rules has been ordered to pay back £800,000 and given a suspended sentence.

Andrew Bainbridge mislabelled waste to make it cheaper to dump.

The 52-year-old pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to consenting to the unlawful deposits of waste and making false or misleading information.

The Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution, said the cost to the public purse had been "substantial".

Spokesperson John Crowl said: "Between December 2014 and February 2016 approximately 3,510 tonnes of waste were deposited at the landfill site at a cost £9,055 when it should have cost £288,085."

As managing director of Auckland Environmental Services Limited (AES), which is now in liquidation, Bainbridge also stored waste without an appropriate environmental permit to "avoid complying with operating conditions that were necessary to protect the public and the environment from harm", Mr Crowl said.

This also saved him money.

'Profit from defrauding'

Bainbridge, of Harlsey Road, Stockton, was sentenced to 15 months in jail, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from acting as a company director for six years.

At a proceeds of crime hearing in October, Bainbridge was given a confiscation order for £806,787 and told to repay £275,833, the value of his current assets, by January.

The company, which operated from Bowsfield Lane, Stockton, was found to have engaged in criminal activity between June 2014 and February 2016 by misdescribing waste it dumped at landfill in order to pay a lower rate of tax, the Environment Agency said.

Mr Crowl said the organisation took "a hard line against anyone that intentionally sets out to profit from defrauding systems designed to protect people and the environment".

Both AES and Bainbridge, who was the firm's sole shareholder, had previous convictions for environmental offences.

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