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Co Armagh farmer fined thousands and handed suspended prison sentence

The Crossmaglen man appeared in court on Friday

A county Armagh farmer was order to pay more than £15,000 in relation to a number of waste offences.

Martin Conlon of Loughross Road, Crossmaglen was made the subject of a £15,571 confiscation order at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The offences come under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

Costs of £902.40 were also awarded against the defendant.

Conlon previously pleaded guilty to 24 charges relating to treating, keeping and depositing controlled waste (including domestic, commercial and hazardous waste), failing to comply with a notice to remove controlled waste and pollution of the environment.

The waste was discovered during a visit by officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to Mr Conlon’s Loughross Road house where they discovered a fuel laundering plant with associated hazardous waste.

NIEA officers also visited a site Conlon ran at Cullaville Road, Crossmaglen where they discovered a large quantity of mixed domestic and commercial waste which was partially burned, and hazardous waste associated with fuel laundering.

Conlon has three months to pay his confiscation order, with a default custodial sentence of nine months should he fail to pay.

For each of the 24 waste charges he pleaded guilty to, Mr Conlon has received a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, to run concurrently.

Officers on site found fuel sludge/liquid waste stored in IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers).

Officers from Revenue and Customs were in attendance at both sites.

NIEA officers estimated the amount of hazardous waste at Loughross and Cullaville Road sites to be 12 tonnes and 22 tonnes respectively.

The cost of disposal for this hazardous waste was approximately £11,795. They also estimated the amount of mixed domestic and commercial waste at the Cullaville Road site to be approximately 127 tonnes.

The cost of disposal for this mixed domestic and commercial waste was approximated at between £25,000 and £28,000.

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