Pair - including Milton Keynes man - sentenced for running illegal waste sites

A man from Milton Keynes is one of two to be sentenced over dangerously hoarding hundreds of tonnes of waste tyres.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:13 pm

John Mullen, 59, of Frankston Avenue, Milton Keynes and Andrew Eyre, 50, of Wootton, Northampton were joint directors of company IN4 Ltd until February 2017, when Eyre retired, leaving Mullen as the sole director.

During a sentencing hearing at Northampton Crown Court, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo heard the pair’s actions could have seriously polluted the environment and risked people’s homes, health and lives.

The company was only allowed to keep 84 tonnes of tyres on their Brackmills Industrial Estate site in Northamptonshire, under the conditions of its environmental permit.

A previous Environment Agency sting operation on an illegal waste site (For illustration purposes)

But Environment Agency inspections in March 2017 found more than 15 times that amount – more than 1,300 tonnes of tyres.

By April, the site had been entirely filled with tyres and abandoned.

Meanwhile, Eyre had set up a second company, Synergy Tyres, in Daventry, where he continued to stockpile tyres. He operated without a permit for four months until EA officers discovered more than 120 tonnes of tyres there in April 2017.

The court heard that in May 2017, Eyre applied for exemptions to process up to 40 tonnes of tyres a week without an environmental permit.

However within a month he had already stockpiled more than twice that limit.

In interview, Eyre claimed he didn’t understand the permitting rules but the court heard he’d been formally cautioned in connection with two other sites in the past.

Mullen admitted he knew about the concerns over how his company was operating, but did nothing to resolve them because he hoped it would “sort itself out”.

Sentencing Synergy Tyres (Midland) Ltd and its director Eyre, Judge Mayo said there had been, “a deliberate and flagrant breach in the face of warnings given”.

He ordered the company to pay a fine of £11,250 and sentenced Eyre to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months on condition he stays out of trouble and performs 150 hours of unpaid work.

Mullen was made subject to a six-month community order with a requirement that he complete 15 days of Rehabilitation Activities.

An enquiry into the Proceeds of Crime in the case has been postponed to a later date.

Costs and POCA have been adjourned to July 6.