Illegal waste farmer found not guilty

CASE: Preston Crown Court

CASE: Preston Crown Court

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Jurors in the case of an elderly farmer accused of illegally disposing of waste on his land have found him not guilty.

Albert Nelson, 77, of Bank Hall Farm, Broughton, Preston, had denied operating a regulated waste facility.

The two day trial was told when Environment Agency officers visited the farm in April 2014 following complaints, they saw waste, including laminated kitchen units and chemically treated timber and hardcore materials which require permits to dispose of.

But retired Nelson, who has lived at the premises for 12 years and keeps a few chickens and geese, said he was burning “virgin timber” - debris from fruit trees - which he was allowed to dispose of. He said the other items were not waste because he was using wood to fix cabins and the rubble to repair grooves made by his tractor.

Summing up, Judge Pamela Badley said: “The environmental permit regime allows some waste operations to be carried out but they have to be under certain conditions.

“The issue you’ve got to look at is is it waste or is it not?”

Jurors returned after less than two hours.

Nelson previously hit the headlines after being prosecuted by Lancashire Trading Standards for leaving sheep carcasses all over his land.