A Mytholmroyd man who disappeared before being found guilty of various waste crimes is now beginning a 25-month jail term.
Mark Eric Butterworth, 51, was sentenced to a custodial term by Bradford Crown Court in May but he was not jailed at the time because he failed to turn up at court on the day.
Judge Roger Thomas QC subsequently issued a warrant for Butterworth’s arrest, and on Tuesday morning he was apprehended and brought before Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced.
Two investigations carried out by the Environment Agency, in 2010 and 2012, revealed that Butterworth’s company, Springwood Trading, which traded in Cornholme, was operating a waste transfer station at its Pudsey Road site without an environmental permit or planning permission.
The firm, a registered waste carrier, is permitted to collect skips of waste for delivery to properly regulated waste sites, but covert surveillance revealed waste being taken to and handled at Springwood Mill, where there is no permit in place for waste management.
Investigations revealed that domestic and industrial waste was being sorted and deposited at the site.
Environment Agency officers also found waste being illegally stored at another site, at Eldon Street, Todmorden, in October 2010.
And during later investigations, it was shown that skips of waste were stored on public streets so they wouldn’t be seen being taken in and out of Springwood Mill.
During a trial which ended in March, the court heard that the company had saved around £55,000 by avoiding permit application fees, subsistence fees, and installation of protective infrastructure.
Butterworth, who owns the Springwood Mill land and had been running the firm as a director, admitted two counts of knowingly permitting the operation of a waste facility without an appropriate environmental permit.
He was also found guilty of four counts of operating a regulated facility without a permit, three counts of depositing controlled waste, and one count of failing to provide waste transfer notes after being served notice to do so.
Butterworth had denied running the firm, claiming that he had not been actively involved with the running of the company at the time of these offences.
But key paperwork relating to the company’s operation was found in his bedroom.
He also told the court that he had no money to clear the waste from the site.
He had been previously convicted in May 2010 of operating a waste transfer station on the same land during 2007 without a permit, a crime for which he received a suspended prison sentence.
That sentence was activated on Tuesday by the court, along with an additional month’s imprisonment for failing to attend court earlier this year.