TWO brothers who were convicted of breaches of environmental laws related to the dumping of waste on an “industrial scale” have reappeared in court as prosecutors attempt to recover legal costs against them.

Raymond Shepherd, 59, who was jailed last year, and his brother Paul were present at Teesside Crown Court as the Environment Agency gave details of the bill for two criminal trials the pair and their company Albert Hill Skip Hire were involved in.

Prosecutor Lee Fish said the latest trial, which ended in November last year, cost £146,000 while the Agency's costs from a previous trial amounted to more than £50,000.

Judge Tony Briggs adjourned proceedings against the two men in order to await the outcome of a separate proceeds of crime application against Raymond Shepherd.

Judge Briggs said he would make no cost orders against two other defendants, former director Brian Wright, who was also present in court, and Jack Shepherd, Paul's son, after representations from defence barristers.

Wright, 54, of Cobden Street, Darlington, had previously been given 150 hours community service after admitting operating a regulated facility without a licence, while 24-year-old Jack Shepherd was fined £350 for allowing unlawful waste to be dumped at the family farm in Bishop Auckland.

They had previously pleaded guilty to the offences and were described as being in a “completely different position” to the Shepherd brothers.

Raymond Shepherd, of Burnside Cottages, Rookhope, Bishop Auckland, is currently serving an 18 month jail sentence after being convicted of operating a regulated facility without a licence, failing to comply with a suspension notice and unlawfully depositing controlled waste, offences he denied.

Paul Shepherd, 57, who previously lived at West Musgrave Farm, Bishop Auckland, escaped with a six month suspended jail sentence after also being found guilty of operating a regulated facility without a licence.