Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Doonin Plant owner Gary Doonin sentenced for environmental offences

Woodened Colliery, Armadale Image copyright Other
Image caption Doonin, tried earlier this year to have his convictions for storing waste illegally overturned but judges threw out his appeal in February

The owner of a recycling firm branded "Scotland's worst polluter" has been ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work for environmental offences.

At Livingston Sheriff Court, Gary Doonin received a community payback order.

His firm, Doonin Plant, was previously fined £200,000 for identical offences.

Doonin, 49, tried earlier this year to have his convictions overturned for illegally storing waste but judges threw out his appeal in February.

On Thursday he appeared for sentence almost two years after a jury found him guilty of two environmental crimes.

During Doonin's trial the jury was told the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) had found hundreds of tons of commercial and industrial waste being stored at the disused Woodend Colliery, in Armadale, West Lothian.

'Significant breach'

Car tyres, carpets, electrical components, metal and timber were all discovered buried under soil.

It was described as a large-scale operation that involved a "serious and significant breach" of environmental laws and posed a real danger to the environment and public health.

At its peak Doonin Plant, which produced recycled aggregate for major engineering projects such as the M74 extension, employed more than 50 people.

Following the convictions, Doonin and his directors put the family firm out of business and made its employees redundant.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Douglas Kinloch told Doonin he had been found guilty of serious offences and the High Court had upheld the fine of £200,000 imposed on the company.

He said he had concluded in all the circumstances that Doonin's culpability fell short of demanding a prison sentence and that a community sentence was the most appropriate disposal.

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