Jailed Essex waste burner had 'no regard for the environment', says Environment Agency

An illegal waste trader and burner in Essex has been jailed.  Credit: Environment Agency.
Shane Boutwell persistently imported and burnt waste in Essex, said the Environment Agency. Credit: Environment Agency

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for persistently illegally burning waste - and has been ordered to clean it up when he is released.

Shane Boutwell, from South Woodham Ferrers, ignored Environment Agency warnings to stop importing and burning waste at two large scale sites in Essex.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, Boutwell was jailed for 14 months and told he will have to clean up the waste after he is released, said the Environment Agency.

In June 2020, firefighters raised concerns following several fires at Bradwell Wick Leisure Plots in Bradwell-on-Sea.

The Environment Agency found large quantities of waste and burnt waste on the site, including waste electricals, household waste, and demolition waste.

Boutwell was given opportunities to clear the waste, but failed to do so, they said.

Among Boutwell's waste, were bricks, concrete, paving slabs, and plastics. Credit: Environment Agency

On another occasion, Environment Agency officers found piles of burning waste at a site owned by Boutwell in Latchingdon. 

Flames were up to two metres high and Essex Fire and Rescue Service had to be called to put out the fire.

Prosecuting for the Environment Agency, barrister Barnaby Hone told the court that Boutwell had operated "two professional, illegal, waste disposal sites”.

Boutwell had "little or no regard for the environment or residents". Credit: Environment Agency

Mr Hone explained that Boutwell’s activities had allowed him to avoid the fees and taxes associated with lawful disposal, undermining lawful competitors, and persisting with his offending in the face of intervention by the Environment Agency.

Sentencing Boutwell to 14 months imprisonment, Her Honour Judge Loram QC said: "The impact of your behaviour on others was profound. 

"You affected legitimate businesses and encouraged others to sink to the bottom like you.”

Judge Loram QC made an order requiring Boutwell to clean up both sites upon his release from prison. 

Lesley Robertson, of the Environment Agency enforcement team, said: “In this case Boutwell was repeatedly instructed to remove waste from both sites and failed to do so.

“He operated at a commercial advantage, importing and burning waste on a significant scale, undermining legitimate business with little or no regard for the environment or residents."

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