10 May 2010
Fridge recycler convicted but spared jail
THE sole director of a fridge recycling firm has been spared jail after being found guilty of five charges relating to breaching the conditions of his waste management licence.
Robert Sant, the ex-boss of Bromfield Industrial Services in Knighton, was convicted of causing pollution to the environment and risking harm to human health in relation to discarded fridges which leaked refrigerant.
On May 7, Shrewsbury Crown court sentenced Sant to 300 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £15,000 towards the prosecution costs of £252,000. Sant avoided an immediate jail term because the court gave him 52 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, on each count, to run concurrently.
The prosecution against Robert Sant was brought by the Environment Agency which claimed refrigerant and oil leaked from fridges at the site.
The EA said the firm failed to drain fridge cooling systems sufficiently, to correctly inspect and dispatch outgoing waste and prevent leaks.
Sant had pleaded not guilty to breaching the conditions of the firm's waste management licence between April 2005 and November 2007.
'Since being informed of the offences, Mr Sant continued to illegally treat and dispose of refrigerators without making any effort to comply with agency requirements' said John Bateman, Environment Agency case officer.