Dean Davis, 36 of Frilford Heath, Oxford pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court to burying waste chemicals, oil and fertiliser in a hole at the Hinksey Heights Golf Club, South Hinksey in Oxford, in autumn 2011. He was fined £3,300 for each of his two offences and asked to pay prosecution costs of £7,623.71 and a victim surcharge of £15.
The court heard that Davis is the sole director of Hinksey Heights Leisure Limited, a company based at Hinksey Heights Golf Club. Davis, a qualified golf professional, took over the running of the golf club in February 2010. He inherited waste materials from the previous management but did not approach them or his contractor, Greensman, to organise removal. The materials included a quantity of waste chemicals, oil and fertiliser that originated from the golf club business, all of which is hazardous to the environment.
The court heard that Davis organised for an employee to use a hired mechanical digger to excavate a hole on the golf club grounds. He then asked another member of staff to fill it with the waste, but the employee refused. Sometime between 27 October 2011 and 10 November 2011 Davis placed the waste into the hole, behind buildings used by the golf club and located at the end of a drainage ditch. The potential environment impact is severe as the waste is soluble and could have dissolved into the groundwater and fed into the Hinksey Stream, which links to the River Thames.
Manna Wan, the Environment Agency’s investigating officer, said: "Dean Davis knew the unlawful implications of his actions when he tried to dispose of harmful waste in such a manner. The objections from his staff member should have made him stop and think; instead he was driven purely by financial gain. His actions risked serious environmental damage.
"This case highlights the essential need for all persons to take their environmental responsibilities seriously and ensure they are handling and disposing of this kind of waste correctly rather than trying to cut corners.
"Actions like this seriously undermine our efforts to protect and enhance the environment and undercuts businesses who do conduct themselves responsibly."
Mr Davis pleaded guilty to two charges:
Charge 1. Between 26th October 2011 and 11th November 2011 Dean Samuel Bailey Davis deposited controlled waste, namely fertilisers, plastic bags and waste oils on land at Hinksey Heights Golf Club, South Hinksey, Oxford when there was no environmental permit in force authorising it
Contrary to Section 33(1) (a) and Section 33(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990
Charge 2. Between 26th October 2011 and 11th November 2011 Dean Samuel Bailey Davis disposed of controlled waste, namely fertilisers, plastic bags and waste oils on land at Hinksey Heights Golf Club, South Hinksey, Oxford in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health
Contrary to Sections 33(1) (c) and 33(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990