From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 22, 2007 09:12 PM

UK Man Convicted Of Dumping Asbestos Is Jailed, Has Assets Frozen

London - Britian's Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), working in partnership with the Environment Agency, has frozen properties belonging to a Bradford man convicted of illegally dumping asbestos and excavation waste.


ARA's investigation follows the conviction of William John Peter Reidy, aged 60, of Bradford. Reidy was convicted following the illegal activities of a demolition business run by him, called Space Making Development. In spite of not holding a waste management licence, the firm was being paid to take building waste away from companies across Yorkshire.


Officers from the Environment Agency carried out surveillance on the site and estimated that a total of 200 lorry (truck) loads of waste had been illegally dumped. A skip containing asbestos sheeting was also discovered, for which the business did not hold a licence.


Mr Reidy was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment of each of four charges relating to the keeping and depositing of waste, including asbestos. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, as were further sentences of three months for each of nine further waste charges.


ARA is investigating whether or not and if so, to what extent, the defendants have benefited from their illegal activities and will seek to recover assets equal to a value of the benefit established.


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Commenting on this stage of the criminal confiscation process, ARA Interim Director Alan McQuillan said: "We are determined to recover the proceeds from all types of illegal activity, including illegal dumping and fly-tipping


which, as well as damaging the environment, poses a risk to human health.


"This restraint order will prevent the disposal of the assets belonging to Mr Reidy while we continue with our investigation to establish the full scale of the benefit obtained from this criminal conduct, thus assisting the court to make any appropriate confiscation orders. The restraint and any confiscation of assets sends a clear message to others involved in illegal activities that we are dedicated to recover the proceeds of illegal activities and that


crime does not pay."


Paul Salter, Environmental Crime Officer at the Environment Agency, explained: "This is the first time that assets have been seized in a case like this and shows that businesses cannot get away with putting profits before the


environment and human health - as this case shows. If you are an offender, we will track you down and take you to court. We can then refer the case to the Assets Recovery Agency which will endeavour to confiscate any monies and assets made from these ill-gotten gains. Demolition contractors must take their responsibilities seriously as people will not put up with them blighting our towns and countryside."


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