Illegal house clearance company has dropped 634 refrigerators in the Lincolnshire countryside – .

Illegal house clearance company has dropped 634 refrigerators in the Lincolnshire countryside – .

A junkyard owner who ‘drowned’ in trash has been given a suspended prison sentence after illegally dumping trash at a remote site in South Lincolnshire, Lincoln Crown Court has said.

Simon Mason, who introduced himself as “Man A1 with Van – No Work Too Big”, collected general household waste and refrigerators from customers who believed he was legally disposing of the items.

But Mason stored the waste on land owned by his father in Curly Worlds End, Holbeach and illegally burned it.

Sarah Dunne, a prosecutor, said the Environment Agency initially visited the site in April 2018.

She told the court: “There was a lot of garbage. There were 360 ​​refrigerators some of which had been burnt down. There were also large amounts of different types of garbage.

“He said he picked up garbage from house racks and people paid him to take refrigerators. He accepted that he had burned some of the garbage.

“He was told to stop taking the garbage and remove the garbage that was there. This was followed up in writing. He asked for time to clean up the site and he received it.

Miss Dunne said Environment Agency staff visited the site on five other occasions in 2018, but it was clear Mason continued to operate his business.

Mason received a warning that he risked prosecution and Miss Dunne said: “As of November 2018, the patience of the Environment Agency was largely exhausted. Officers attended the site and found 634 refrigerators and over 700 cubic meters of other waste.

Mason was interviewed and said he was just trying to make a living. He explained that he had collected more than 1,000 refrigerators from an electricity store at £ 5 per refrigerator.

He again requested time to clean up the site and although there was a significant improvement at the end of January 2019, a further visit in October 2020 revealed that he had absorbed more waste and a decision was made to do so. to pursue.

| Photo: Environment Agency

Mason, 51, of Curly Worlds End, Bensgate Road, Holbeach, has admitted breaking environmental laws. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with 250 hours of unpaid work and a three-month nighttime curfew. He was found to have benefited from his crimes of £ 144,000 and his available assets of £ 8,317 were ordered to be confiscated.

Judge John Pini QC told him: “You have started to run this waste disposal company. You entered it with astonishing naivety. It’s pretty obvious to everyone that you can’t get rid of this waste by burning it, releasing toxic fumes into the environment. I do not understand why you did not understand this.

“Throughout 2019 and 2020, you continued to run what you knew to be an illegal business.

“You escaped custody because you are of good character and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. If you repeat this offense, you will go straight inside.

| Photo: Environment Agency

Sunil Khanna, by way of mitigation, said Mason had never been convicted and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He told the court that Mason was a floor worker until he reached his forties and decided to start a house cleaning business.

Mr Khanna stated that Mason had not researched things enough and then realized that he attracted so many customers that he “drowned” under the amount of trash he collected.

He said Mason has now started cleaning up the site and reduced the number of refrigerators to 300.

Mr Khanna said: “He has learned his lesson. He will now return to basic work, which he has been doing for most of his life. He estimates that it will take him between three and six months to clean up the site.

“He is extremely embarrassed to come to court. He caused considerable shame to his family.

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