A West Drayton man has been jailed for dumping more than 11 tonnes of commercial waste at Harefield Civic Amenity Site on numerous occasions without paying the required fees.
A District Judge described Patrick Stokes’ actions as ‘appalling’ and said he had ‘no regard for authority’ when sentencing him to 14 weeks in prison during a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 7 June.
Stokes, 48, admitted seven counts of making off without paying and three counts of entering the site when banned from doing so. Stokes was also ordered to pay £5,000 compensation to Hillingdon Council to cover the costs of clearing up after him.
The court heard how on seven occasions between 17 March 2021 and 17 January 2022, Stokes dropped commercial waste at the site, as if it were personal household waste.
The court was told that given the very high frequency of Stokes’ visits to the site and volumes of waste being deposited, council officers deemed his use was commercial, rather than private and was therefore subject to fees, like other authorised waste carriers in the borough.
Since he had already made off without paying on several prior occasions, the council banned him from the site, but even this ban was ignored three times with Stokes failing to leave the site when asked, the court heard.
In mitigation, the court was told Stokes was unemployed and in receipt of Universal Credit. He was paid to collect the waste from traveller sites at £20 per visit.
Sentencing, District Judge Wright called Stokes’ behaviour appalling, adding: “I find this extremely serious so serious in fact that it crosses the custody threshold, you have a profound sense of entitlement, you cannot expect the local authority to clear up all this mess.
“I simply do not believe this is your rubbish, you cannot dump this amount of rubbish unless you’re doing something commercially”
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “We’re delighted with this result which should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they’re above the rules.
“We’re grateful to the many commercial visitors to our sites who diligently pay the fees and are respectful to staff. They hugely outweigh the few who try and buck the system. The costs will contribute to recovering tax-payer money spent clearing up Patrick Stokes’ mess.”
Stokes was also disqualified from driving for 12 months as District Judge Wright considered the vehicle used was complicit in committing the crimes.