A WELSH farmer was fined a total of £12,000 at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Wednesday (Apr 28) for three waste offences, the Environment Agency Wales reports.

The farmer was also ordered to pay the £1,750 costs of the EAW, which brought the prosecution.

The Court heard how in Aug 2002 EAW officers first inspected a site by a Welsh farm and found large quantities of waste material.

The waste included soil, rubble, vegetation, cookers, fridges, tyres, tiles, slates, metal, plastics and an exercise bike.

During Oct and Nov 2002 a covert surveillance operation found vehicles were routinely coming to the site and depositing waste.

On Dec 17, 2002 after a magistrates warrant was obtained, nine EAW officers and two officers from North Wales Police carried out a thorough inspection of the site.

This confirmed that there were large quantities of household, building and green waste deposited on the fields around the farm.

The farmer was interviewed under caution, and he told officers that although he did not own the land at the farm, he did control it.

He admitted allowing hardcore to be brought onto the land but denied allowing the rest of the waste, which he claimed must have been left by gypsies when he wasn‘t around.

Brereton was fined £8,000 for knowingly permitting the deposit of controlled waste at Cottage Gorse Farm between Apr 14, 2002 and Jan 14, 2003, £2,000 for keeping controlled waste on the land between Aug 16, 2002 and Dec 17, 2002 and a further £2,000 for disposing of controlled waste by burning between Oct 18, 2002 and Dec 17, 2002.

After the case an EAW spokesperson commented: “The agency is very satisfied with this result.

“This was a significant operation involving a number of agency enforcement officers assisted by officers of North Wales Police.”

“It indicates the seriousness with which the courts now view environmental offences and the agency is determined to take action against any one found committing offences of this nature.”

“Farmers and landowners in general need to take particular care to ensure that their land is not used for unlicensed waste disposal.”