A father and son who ran a waste business at their then home in Cornwall appeared in court last Tuesday (April 11).

Michael Joseph Richards, 59, now living at Menorca Lane, Bugle and his son, also called Michael, aged 31 now of Ocean Rise, Scredda pleaded guilty at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court.

Both men admitted offences relating to running a waste site at their former home at The Paddocks on St Stephen’s Road in Sticker, without a permit.

Richards junior was also charged with transferring waste without a written description and with not being registered to carry controlled waste.

Magistrates decided that the offences by Richards senior, together with a similar previous conviction, were too serious for a fine. They have ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared and he will now be sentenced on May 18.

Richards junior, who admitted three offences, was ordered to pay fines, costs and a victim surcharge totalling £4,443.

The court heard that in September 2020 the Environment Agency was informed that waste was being taken to the site and burned.

A month later the fire service was called to a fire at the site where they found building and household waste including plasterboard, timber, cement bags, rigid insulation, electrical appliances, furniture and plastic household objects.

Surrounding the fire was more waste debris including radiators, fridges and a caravan.

The fire was close to a gas tank and the main A390 road which meant there was the potential for causing a smoke hazard.

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Environment officer Stephen Clark went to the site soon after where he found more household waste, car tyres and a caravan full of building waste.

Richards junior was served a notice to provide waste transfer notes within a week, but he did not respond.

At a later meeting at the site with Richards junior he agreed to remove the waste and admitted that he had taken much of it there when he was not registered to do so.

He then failed to comply with a notice to remove the waste and by June 2021 it was still there, with more waste having been taken to the site.

Following the hearing, Stephen Clark from the Environment Agency said: “This was both an environmental and fire hazard as well as being a blight on the village, added to which, such illegal waste activities undermine the work of legitimate businesses in the sector.”

Magistrates noted that reoffending was unlikely as the land has since been sold.