A FAMILY-RUN skip hire company found guilty of illegally dumping waste has been accused of further serious environmental breaches.

Albert Hill Skip Hire, in Darlington, and two members of its management team, face charges of storing rubbish without an Environment Agency permit and flouting a prohibition notice to stop trading as a waste transfer operation.

Two other men face charges of polluting a river in St Helen Auckland, County Durham, and illegally depositing of waste.

Raymond Shepherd, 57, a director of the the firm, appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court today charged with illegally running the facility between May 2010 and March this year, and ignoring a notice to suspend operations.

Paul Shepherd, 55, of West Musgrave Farm, St Helen Auckland, County Durham, also appeared in court charged with storing waste without a permit, breaching an environmental licence at the firm’s Whessoe Road depot, and disregarding a suspension warning.

Another director, Tony Shepherd, 38, of Winston, near Barnard Castle, faces charges of polluting Tindale Beck, in St Helen Auckland, and contravening an environmental permit.

Jack Shepherd, 23, also of West Musgrave Farm, faces one allegation of depositing waste without a permit.

The four men entered no pleas to the charges and their cases were committed to Teesside Crown Court. Raymond Shepherd was remanded in custody.

No date was fixed for their next hearing.

A separate Darlington Borough Council planning inquiry due to start against the company today  was cancelled until the court proceedings are completed.

It will now take place in January.