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Cornwall skip hire boss ordered to pay £237k

31 October 2022

CRAIG HUTTON of Skip It was convicted of operating the business without environmental permits.

Hutton, 62, of Short Cross Road, Mount Hawke, Truro, pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court in March 2020 to 2 charges of running the business, Skip It, without an environmental permit.

One charge related to deposit and storage of controlled waste on land at Mawla, Porthtowan and the other to the deposit and storage of controlled waste, on land adjacent to a Western Power Distribution sub-station, at Penwinnick Road, near St Agnes.

The Environment Agency went back to the court with a Proceeds of Crime  application against Hutton and was awarded £198,000 on 28 October 2022. Hutton was also sentenced for the offences, fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £29,000 in costs.

Hutton has a maximum of 6 months to pay up or face 18 months in prison if he fails to pay the £198,000 and 3 months imprisonment if he fails to pay the fines and costs.

Both sites being used for the business could have led to environmental harm, particularly the one close to an electricity sub-station, Judge Carr was told. The Mawla site had a bund erected around it to shield it from view by the public. Hutton had continued to operate the sites after being interviewed under caution by Environment Agency officers.

The court heard Hutton had a previous conviction for a similar offence from 2001. The judge told him: “Regulations are there for a reason. You gained a competitive advantage over others by not being licenced or permitted. You were given warnings and chances but failed to comply.”

Stephen Clark of the Environment Agency said, "Craig Hutton deliberately operated the business without the required permits, threatening the environment and earning thousands of pounds from customers.

"The Environment Agency will vigorously pursue those who flout the law in this way, and who undermine legitimate businesses."