Devon man narrowly avoids jail for waste crime offences

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
The fire started by Donovan had to be put out by the fire service

A waste removal businessman who filled the Devon countryside with 2,000 tons of rubbish and set fire to it has narrowly avoided jail.

Edward Donovan, of Churchill Drive, Crediton, turned part of an elderly land owners’ farm at Spreyton into an illegal waste site.

He had been allowed to use the site for dismantling and removing three caravans but instead dumped waste he had collected from commercial businesses across Devon as Ed Donovan Services (EDS).

When the landowners found out about the damaged site, Donovan was instructed to clean it up yet chose to set fire to it instead.

Donovan pleaded guilty under the Environmental Protection Act at Exeter Magistrates Court, which included running a waste site on land owned by a couple in their 70s without a permit and causing pollution and setting fire to waste.

He was given a suspended two-year jail sentence of 18 weeks and banned from the waste trade for five years.

Donovan was also ordered to pay Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service £1,232, the amount it cost the service to attend a large waste fire he started, and £4,252 to the Environment Agency.

Adrian Evans, of the Environment Agency, said: “This is one of the wort incidents of illegal waste management I have come across for some time.

“The defendant showed a complete disregard for the environment, health and safety and for the owners of the land and their neighbours.”


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