'Industrial scale' Thornley waste dumper jailed
A County Durham man who used his parents' farm to dump waste "on an industrial scale" has been jailed.
Officers from the Environment Agency found more than 870 tonnes of electrical items, rubble and plastics at Sun Ridge Farm in Thornley.
Stuart McCarroll, who ran a skip hire business, had previously admitted breaching environmental permit rules.
The judge at Durham Crown Court jailed the 27-year-old from Thornley for eight months for the environmental offences.
He also sentenced him to a further six months for breaching a suspended sentence for a separate offence, and ordered him to pay £13,123 in costs.
McCarroll had previously pleaded guilty to four charges relating to running a waste operation otherwise than in accordance with an environmental permit, and one of incinerating waste.
The charges date from July 2014 to October 2015.
The court was told that McCarroll used the farm as a "free tipping ground."
Environment Agency officials who visited the site found piles of sorted wastes including plastics and wood, with smoke coming from a burnt area of ground, skips containing a variety of waste, and other wastes such as bricks, kitchen units, window frames and a sunbed.
Dave Edwardson, from the agency, said: "He had a complete disregard for the law, which is in place to protect the environment and communities, not to mention his actions undermining legitimate businesses."