Cleared of waste charge by court

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A contractor from Luddenden Foot says his livelihood was put at risk after being cleared at the Court of Appeal of illegally dumping waste.

Michael Edward Jagger, 63, of Royd Lane, Ripponden, was found guilty of depositing controlled waste without a permit in April last year following an investigation by the Environment Agency.

But his conviction was quashed at the Royal Courts of Justice on February 19 after it was ruled the trial judge misdirected the jury about the nature of the waste involved.

Mr Jagger, who is known as Edward, was investigated after waste from a building site in Broad Street, Halifax, was deposited in a void in Raglan Street in September 2010.

But Mr Jagger insists the waste was transported there to protect the public from falling into the void.

He said: “It should never have gone to court.

“It has cost the public an immense amount of money.

“It’s just been a total waste of time.

“I’m very angry about it,” he added.

He said his company employed 50 people and the legal action had put all their jobs at risk.

Mr Jagger, of J Jagger & Sons, is now exploring what action can be taken after the appeal verdict.

“It needs taking further and I’m talking to Craig Whittaker, our local MP, about what we can do and question why I was taken to court in the first place,” he said.

“Most of our work is with blue-chip companies, and if it hadn’t been overturned we would have lost a lot of work with them.

“We’ve already asked the Environment Agency through our solicitors why certain actions were taken but we’ve had no response from them.

“They could have taken my business away from me. It’s been running for 68 years, of which I’ve been here for 47.

“I’ve built it up from very small beginnings,” added Mr Jagger.

We’re exactly the kind of business the government is trying to encourage, yet one part of the government has done this to us.”