Wenvoe recycling boss dumped 10,000 tonnes of waste
A recycling firm boss who caused homes to be flooded and risked contaminating the water supply of 32,000 people after dumping rubble has been sentenced.
Anthony Gaughan, 56, of Harlech Road in Cardiff, put 10,000 tonnes of building waste on his land.
It cost Welsh Water £380,000 to clean it up in Wenvoe, Vale of Glamorgan.
At Cardiff Crown Court, the Wenvoe Recycling Ltd boss admitted depositing controlled waste and had an eight month sentence suspended for two years.
Judge David Wynn Morgan said: "Waste was being dumped in such a way that it was outside the perimeter of your site.
"It blocked a water channel and caused flooding at nearby domestic premises.
"This resulted in several agencies having to undertake a clean up operation taking several months."
An investigation into the dumped waste began in October 2017.
The dumped rubble blocked a river near Gaughan's land and needed a major clean-up to fix the problem.
Gaughan ignored advice from environment officials to stop operating and continued dumping waste, the court heard.
Prosecutor Tim Evans said officers from Natural Resources Wales visited the site and pointed out there was a large water main serving 32,000 customers bordering his operation.
"When officers visited again just five months later, they could see that waste had blocked a water channel and had flooded nearby properties," he added.
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Gaughan offered to clear the rubble but his crane and water pumps got stuck in the mud causing further blockage.
Defence barrister Christopher Rees said: "There wasn't any pollution as far as the water was concerned but significant costs have incurred with the clean up of the river.
"Gaughan was clearly reckless.
"He didn't take proper advice and he remained of the view that exemptions on the site covered his activities. He was wrong."