A father who ran an illegal waste business with his son at their home in Cornwall has been sentenced to a suspended jail sentence by magistrates.

Michael Joseph Richards, 59, now living at Menorca Lane, Bugle, appeared for sentence on two charges relating to the illegal waste business that he and his son, also called Michael, ran at their then home at The Paddocks, St Stephen’s Road, Sticker.

Richards Senior was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, at Bodmin Magistrates Court on May 18.

Richards Junior was fined for three offences relating to the business last month. Richards Senior was also ordered to pay half of the £4,397.75 costs awarded previously.

In a case brought by the Environment Agency both men had admitted offences relating to running a waste site without a permit.

An investigation was launched by the Environment Agency following a fire at the site where building and household waste, including plasterboard, timber, cement bags, rigid insulation, electrical appliances, furniture and plastic household objects had been kept.

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.

Magistrates said that waste crime is one of the worst types of offending that comes before them and that Richards failed to supervise what was happening on his land.

Following the hearing, Stephen Clark from the Environment Agency said: "We’re pleased with the outcome of this case. Mr Richards Senior had a previous similar conviction. This sends out a message that waste crime will not be tolerated."