Tyre recycler ordered to pay £50k

The scene of the fire in Campsie Industrial Estate in 2009.
The scene of the fire in Campsie Industrial Estate in 2009.

A former tyre recycler from Derry has been ordered to pay a confiscation order for £50,000.

James Joseph Heaney (46) of Spruce Meadows, Derry, was ordered to pay the confiscation order, within three months, at Derry Crown Court on Friday, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

A confiscation order is an order made against a convicted defendant ordering the person to pay the amount of his benefit from crime.

The award of the confiscation order followed Mr Heaney’s conviction on June 20, 2014 on four counts under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997. He was given 240 hours community service on each charge, to run concurrently.

During July and November 2008, officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency investigated two sites operated by Mr Heaney at Pennyburn Industrial Estate and Campsie Real Estate in Derry, where substantial quantities of waste tyres had been deposited.

The two sites were abandoned in 2009 with around 20,000 tyres deposited at the Pennyburn site and approximately 385,500 tyres left at the (unlicensed) Campsie site.

The Pennyburn site was set alight on August 18, 2009, and the Campsie site on October 4, 2009 - the resulting fires deemed ‘major incidents’. An Eglinton primary school was forced to close during the Campsie fire, which took four days to bring under control and involved around 70 fire fighters and eight pumps.

A financial investigation followed where it was calculated that Heaney had benefited from his criminal conduct by some £94,198.28.