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Boss of Albert Hill Skip Hire, Darlington, has trial quash bid rejected
A SKIP hire operator charged with breaching a string of environmental regulations has accused prosecutors of deliberately ambushing his trial and said the case should be thrown out.
Raymond Shepherd, 57, of Albert Hill Skip Hire, in Darlington, is charged with failing to obtain Environment Agency permits for two waste disposal sites between 2008 and May 2010.
He is accused of running depots in Dodsworth Street and Whessoe Road, in Darlington, without relevant permits, and breaching a permit for Dodsworth Street in 2009 by storing non-hazardous waste on a permeable surface.
Mr Shepherd, of West Musgrave Farm, St Helen Auckland, County Durham, yesterday told Judge Tony Briggs, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, that the prosecution had withheld more than 250 documents, severely harming his case.
He said: “I apply for you to quash this as I’m not able to have a fair trial.
“I have been ambushed by the prosecution in an unfair tactic. I have not had sufficient time to examine the papers.”
Mr Shepherd’s application, branded “misleading and false” by Lee Fish, prosecuting, was immediately dismissed by Judge Briggs.
The court then heard from Melvin Hayter, an Environment Agency officer who carried out an inspection on the Whessoe Road depot, and who said it bore the hallmarks of a landfill site.
He said: “There was a similar smell to that which you get when you visit landfill.
“There was a stale smell – you do not tend to get that at waste transfer stations and scrap metal sites.”
Mr Hayter also rejected claims from Mr Shepherd, representing himself after parting company with his barrister at the beginning of the trial, that the waste was being sorted through for further transportation.
He added: “There were piles of mixed waste, such as wood and plastic, but I did not see any machinery that would process the waste.”
Mr Shepherd denies the charges and the trial continues.
In a separate hearing yesterday, the Environment Agency heard an appeal from Mr Shepherd over the revocation of a permit for Dodsworth Street.
The hearing was adjourned to allow inspectors time to examine the site.