A ‘WASTE cowboy’ and his uncle have been shamed in court over a “sham” operation which saw more than 275 tonnes of waste illegally stored on a site in Bradford – most of which remains there today. 

A councillor has slammed the situation as “criminal, disrespectful and disgusting”.

The pair were sentenced after being found guilty following a trial at Leeds Crown Court in a prosecution brought by the Environment Agency. 

Tejpal Sagoo, 41, of Tudor Road, Hayes, Middlesex was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and must carry out 250 hours of unpaid community work after illegally-stored household, commercial and industrial waste material was discovered on Duncombe Road, Four Lane Ends, at the site of his company, Robin Hood Group Ltd. 

He was also ordered to pay the Environment Agency £2,400 in costs and served with a Regulation 44 Notice under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016, which means Sagoo must clear the offending waste within six months or face a contempt of court hearing.

Sagoo’s uncle, Jarnail Bassan, 64, of Pasture Lane, Clayton, was also fined £2,400 and ordered to pay £200 per month for the role he and his now dissolved company, LHC Asset Management Ltd, played in the crime.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Over 275 tonnes of waste were taken to the site on Duncombe Road between January and March 2017. 

“Despite both men claiming that they intended to ship the waste abroad to burn as fuel, the vast majority of it remains at the site now, some two years later.

“LHC Asset Management Ltd had helped to source the waste and leased the site, but Robin Hood Group Ltd had been in control of the operation.

“Inspections by Environment Agency officers at the Duncombe Road site started in March 2017, following a report from Bradford Council. 
“There, they found hundreds of large bales of mixed waste material which were being stored on the site.”

Officers ordered Sagoo not to bring any more waste into the site and to legitimately remove and dispose of the waste stored there. 

In sentencing, Judge Batty said Bassan had been guided principally by Sagoo, his nephew, and that he had been reckless. 

Of Sagoo, he said “the whole operation was a sham” and he “had shown a continuous disregard for the environment”. 

“Your description as a waste cowboy by the prosecution was apposite,” said the judge. 

Paul Glasby, the Environment Agency’s investigating officer said: “This was a clear case of a rogue operator trying to circumnavigate environmental law for their own financial gain. This sentence sends out a strong message that the Environment Agency and Courts will hold businesses and individuals to account for harm to the environment.”

Councillor Aneela Ahmed, Labour ward councillor for the City ward, which Duncombe Road falls under, said: “We cannot express how disappointed and disgusted we are at the blatant disregard shown by these rogue traders towards our city and environment. 

“Stock piling hundreds of tons of waste, then allowing it to rot, endangering the environment in the surrounding area and potentially damage to the atmosphere is nothing but criminal, disrespectful and disgusting.  

“We wholeheartedly agree with the sentence passed by Judge Batty and the Environmental Agency’s enforcement officer’s comments, that this was a blatant attempt to get round the laws set out by the Environment Agency.

"We would like to thank all involved in this investigation for their hard work and dedication into bringing this matter to a conclusion. We hope that the sentence will get the message out there to anyone who feels they can disregard and abuse the the law and environment to think twice.

"We will continue to liaise with the environment officers to ensure that the mountain of waste is dealt with.”