Essex man imprisoned for illegally importing and burning waste​

Shane Boutwell of Rivendell Vale, South Woodham Ferrers, who had entered guilty pleas earlier in the year to operating 2 waste management facilities, 1 at Bradwell Wick, the other at Lower Burnham Road, without a permit, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on 2 August 2022. This followed repeated importing and burning of waste on a large scale at 2 sites in Essex, despite warnings from the Environment Agency to stop this illegal activity.

He was sentenced to 14 month’s imprisonment and an order was made for Mr Boutwell to clean up both sites once he was released from prison. He was ordered to go back to court in September 2023 to answer to claims for prosecution costs and the confiscation of the proceeds of his crimes.


In June 2020, officers attended land at Bradwell Wick Leisure Plots, Maldon Road, Bradwell-on-Sea after fire officers had concerns about several fires that took place at the site.

Officers discovered significant amounts of waste on the site, including waste electricals, household waste, and demolition waste. They also found piles of burned waste. Further visits were made and there were attempts to work with Mr Boutwell, offering him opportunities to cease his activities and clean up the site. He did not clear the site and gave officers many different, contradictory accounts.

In September 2020, officers’ visited another site owned by Boutwell at Lower Barn Farm, Lower Burnham Road, Latchingdon. They discovered piles of burning waste with flames up to 2 metres in height. Firefighters attended and found a gas cylinder amid the embers before urgently calling for fire engines to attend.

Environment Agency officers identified large piles of soils contaminated with bricks, concrete, paving slabs, and plastics. Mr Boutwell was given opportunities to cease depositing, spreading and burning waste at the site. He was advised that all waste on site must be removed by a licensed waste carrier, but he did not take the recommended actions.

The sentence shows just how serious it can be to commit such offences. Mr Boutwell was deemed to have operated at a commercial advantage and undermining legitimate businesses for his own gain. He also pleaded guilty to disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health at both sites. In addition, he pleaded guilty to failing to remove the waste from Bradwell Wick.