Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Suspended sentence for father Michael Joseph Richards who ran illegal waste firm with son [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Environment Agency on 22 May 2023.

A father who ran an illegal waste business with his son at their home in Cornwall was sentenced to a suspended jail sentence by magistrates.

Michael Joseph Richards, 59, now living at Menorca Lane, Bugle, appeared for sentence on two charges relating to the illegal waste business that he and his son, also called Michael, ran at their then home at The Paddocks, St Stephen’s Road, Sticker.

Richards Senior was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 18 May 2023.

Richards Junior was fined for three offences relating to the business last month. Richards Senior was also ordered to pay half of the £4,397.75 costs awarded previously.

In a case brought by the Environment Agency both men had admitted offences relating to running a waste site without a permit.

An investigation was launched by the Environment Agency following a fire at the site where building and household waste, including plasterboard, timber, cement bags, rigid insulation, electrical appliances, furniture and plastic household objects had been kept.

Surrounding the fire was more waste debris including radiators, fridges and a caravan. The fire was close to a gas tank and the main A390 road which meant there was the potential for causing a smoke hazard.

Magistrates said that waste crime is one of the worst types of offending that comes before them and that Richards failed to supervise what was happening on his land.

Following the hearing, Stephen Clark from the Environment Agency said:

We’re pleased with the outcome of this case. Mr Richards Senior had a previous similar conviction. This sends out a message that waste crime will not be tolerated.


Michael Richards Senior pleaded guilty to two charges:

Between 21 September 2020 and 25 June 2021, permitted the carrying on of a waste operation, on land known as The Paddocks, St Stephens Road, Sticker, St Austell in respect of which no environmental permit was in force.

Contrary to regulations 38(1)(b) and 12(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016

Between the 21 September 2020 and 25 June 2021, deposited, or knowingly caused or knowingly permitted the deposit of controlled waste including mixed building and household waste on land, namely The Paddocks, St Stephens Road, Sticker, St Austell, in respect of which no environmental permit was in force.

Contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.