Hartlepool and East Durham pair banned as company directors after 'criminal behaviour'

Three men have been banned from acting as company directors for five years after illegally allowing waste to be dumped on their firm’s land.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 12:39 pm

The trio, who are from Hartlepool, Castle Eden and Redcar, have also been fined more than £2,500 and ordered to pay £16,000 in costs following a 2017 Environment Agency investigation into activities at Viridus Group, based at the Old Brickworks, in Eldon, near Bishop Auckland.

The inquiry found that waste wrongly described as soil had been deposited on the premises from as far away as Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Cumbria and Scotland.

Appearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, John Anthony Wood, 54, of St James Fields, Castle Eden, pleaded guilty to neglecting to ensure the conditions of an enforcement notice to remove illegal waste from the site was adhered to and was ordered to pay a £700 fine, £5,000 costs and a £70 victim surcharge.

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An Environment Agency photograph of some of the waste illegally stored at the company's premises near Bishop Auckland.

David Langhorne, 58, of Beaconsfield Street, Hartlepool, admitted the same offence as well as a separate charge of neglecting to ensure the company complied with its own management systems in relation to pollution prevention.

He was ordered to pay a £1,174 fine, £5,500 costs and a £66 victim surcharge.

John Bernard Charles Campbell, 60, of Studland Road, Redcar, pleaded guilty to three charges and was ordered to pay a £640 fine, £5,000 in costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said afterards: “This criminal behaviour was motivated by a willingness to attract business from those companies prepared to travel large distances to avoid paying landfill tax.”

The company ceased trading at the end of 2018.

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