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Criminal Behaviour Order for fire starter

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Thursday 11 January

A man who illegally burned waste has received the borough’s first waste-related Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO)

George Sherbourne, 70, of Homestall Road, Newnham, was prosecuted by Swale Borough Council after repeated warnings from the council. At court he was prosecuted for burning waste on two separate occasions in May and July 2016 at Straight Hill, Newnham.

Despite not having a valid permit to burn the waste, and warnings about the risk to members of the public, Mr Sherbourne failed to stop igniting the fires. One blaze was described as ‘intense’ and ‘out of control’ by Kent Fire and Rescue Service, who were called to the scene.

Mr Sherbourne pleaded guilty to two charges of burning waste under section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £250 costs, and a victim surcharge of £115.

Magistrates also approved the council’s request for a three-year CBO banning Mr Sherbourne from burning or importing controlled waste, operating a business, or possessing hazardous waste at the site.

Cllr Alan Horton cabinet member for safer families and communities at the council, said:

"Because of his actions members of the public could have been seriously harmed, so I am pleased magistrates took the offences seriously.

"Despite repeated warnings from our officers, he continued to put people’s lives at risk by burning waste without permission, and now faces imprisonment should he commit any further offences.

"People have to understand that the law is there for a reason, and they cannot act in any way that risks the lives of others.

"This is the first order of this kind that we have issued for waste offences, and I hope it shows others who may be tempted to commit this kind of offence that their behaviour will not be tolerated."

The case was heard at Medway Magistrates Court on 8 January.

For more information about waste and waste-related offences, please visit


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