A father and his two sons have been given suspended prison sentences after they pleaded guilty to a number of waste offences.
James Lagan (60) of Ballygrooby Road in Moneymore, and his sons Michael (32) and Seamus (31) pleaded guilty to waste offences at Londonderry Crown Court.
The case involved the keeping of c. 5,100 tonnes of waste in three areas of a farm on the Ballygrooby Road, a large proportion of which had been infilled into a yard where machinery was stored.
Although Michael Lagan had previously held a registration of carriers authorisation, allowing him to transport waste on the road, there were no waste authorisations in place for any of this material.
The waste included two areas of baled and loose commercial/domestic waste, including shoes, plastics, textiles and children's toys. The infilled yard area contained a mixture of inert construction and demolition waste and non-inert waste including plastics, metals and treated wood. A number of vehicles were also stored across the area, alongside agricultural contracting machinery. Waste had also been burnt at points across the site.
NIEA inspected the site during April and again in September 2013 when an intrusive survey was undertaken.
James Lagan received six-months imprisonment suspended for 12 months for keeping waste without a waste authorisation. Michael Lagan received nine months suspended for two years for keeping waste and 12 months, suspended for two years, for keeping waste in a polluting manner (to run concurrently). Seamus Lagan was given nine months suspended for two years for keeping waste.
The judge said that waste offending created a terrible blot on the countryside and it needed to be stopped. NIEA had imposed a statutory notice on the Lagans to remove the waste from their site to a suitably authorised one. However, the majority of the waste remained on site.
A financial investigation into the benefit accrued due to these unauthorised waste activities is ongoing and is running in accordance with site remediation plans.