Three men will be sentenced next month after the Environment Agency found they had fly tipped 2,000 tonnes of household waste, including asbestos, at a farm in Bacup.

In February 2021, Environment Agency workers, were driving back from a routine check in St Helens on Merseyside when they noticed a suspicious heavy goods vehicle.

Burnley Crown Court heard the vehicle belonged to Paul Michael Harrison, 51, who at the time owned Hey Head Farm in Rochdale Road, Bacup.

When they followed Harrison, they saw he had illegally tipped a large amount of waste on the land, operating an illegal waste disposal operation at his premises. 

Alongside his son and fellow defendant, Benjamin Harrison, 22, the Environment Agency found that over the course of a month, the pair had dumped further waste onto the land.

This included approximately 2,000 tonnes of household waste, some of which they believed to be asbestos.

Prosecutor Tim Leader told the court that on September 30, 2022, over a year after the initial offence, Paul Harrison's lorry was involved in another incident.

The lorry was captured on CCTV with false number plates, with the driver of the lorry filmed dumping 30 tonnes of household waste outside Rossendale Borough Council’s offices at Futures Park at 4.07 am. 

The piles of rubbish stretched across 10 metres and included mattresses, sofas and building materials, and was strewn across the road with motorists having to driver over the footpath to get past.

As well as Harrison, the owner of the lorry, Paul Ashley Bell, 59, of Finland Road, Stockport, who had been found to be the driver, were charged with fly tipping.

Bell was not employed by Harrison at the farm, but had occasionally worked for him in the past.

The court heard this second offence had been regarded as a 'revenge attack' on Rossendale Borough Council, due to its investigation on Harrison's previous fly tipping.

In mitigation for the Harrisons, Daniel Harman told the court although it seemed the defendants committed these offences to gain financially, Paul Harrison had recently been declared bankrupt and was in a 'desperate' time financially.

Paul Harrison was convicted after trial of being involved in the deposit of controlled waste in Futures Park, Bacup, and Hey Head Farm.

Bell pleaded guilty to the same offence.

Benjamin Harrison pleaded guilty to knowingly permit activity in contravention of an environmental permit.

Recorder Timothy Harrington adjourned the sentencing of the three defendants until Friday, May 10, for the prosecution to gain more information on the charges.