A skip hire boss has been ordered to repay part of the profits from his illegal activities after serving 18 months in jaill – estimated to be almost £1m.

Raymond Shepherd the skip hire boss was instructed to pay back £14,000 of assets. He also has a potential six months in prison if he fails to pay after already appearing in a four-day confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

Due to the proceeds of Crime Act, £980,207 will have to be paid back from future assets by Mr Shepherd who resides in Rookhope in County Durham and ran Albert Hill Skip Hire in Darlington.

After two separate trials of operating a waste facility without a permit, depositing waste without a permit and failing to comply with a suspension notice he was jailed for 18 months in 2013. A 10 year disqualification from being a company director was also given to Mr Shepherd.

Shepherd contested Environment Agency (EA) proceedings to make him pay back gains from his criminal activities at the sites, arguing they were carried out lawfully.

Oliver Harmar, area director for the EA in the north-east, said: “This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life.

“Shepherd’s illegal waste operations were carried out in the interests of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment. Not to mention by not complying with regulations, he undermined legitimate businesses.

“And the impact on the community must not be overlooked, including two major fires which took place at Dodsworth Street.”

The case follows a large-scale investigation by the EA which started in 2008 and resulted in two of Shepherd’s family members also being prosecuted and his company being fined £100,000.

(Information from Rob Preston at MRW)

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