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OAP pleads guilty over polluted Black Mountain dump

By Michael Donnelly

Published 13/10/2016

A 70-year-old man who has already pleaded guilty to having an illegal dump on the side of Belfast's Black Mountain, has admitted it was a blight on the landscape with the
A 70-year-old man who has already pleaded guilty to having an illegal dump on the side of Belfast's Black Mountain, has admitted it was a blight on the landscape with the "potential" to cause pollution

A 70-year-old man who has already pleaded guilty to having an illegal dump on the side of Belfast's Black Mountain, has admitted it was a blight on the landscape with the "potential" to cause pollution.

Hugh Corey was on trial at Belfast Crown Court for keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution at his Tullyrush Road home in the Hannahstown area.

However, yesterday defence lawyer Declan Quinn asked that he his client be re-arraigned before the jury.

Afterwards, Corey pleaded guilty to keeping waste in a manner likely to cause pollution on the basis that the pollution involved the escape of gases.

It was accepted that it could not be determined if the local watercourse was polluted, although there was a "potential" for this occurring as opposed to a "likelihood" of it happening.

It was also agreed that the dump at the Tullyrush Road home of the pensioner, who will be sentenced next month, "has had an impact on the visual amenity of the immediate surroundings".

Following his initial guilty pleas on Tuesday to the unlawful deposit and keeping of controlled waste, prosecution lawyer Gareth Purvis revealed that inspectors from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency first visited the site in August 2011 and found a range of materials including domestic and commercial waste and a number of skips.

Over the next two years, officials revisited the site and found similar controlled waste including plastics, wood, brick and concrete. Although the land was in the name of his wife, Corey accepted he was responsible for it.

Eventually in February 2014, environment officers returned with police, a warrant and earth-moving machinery and excavated the dump site.

Test uncovered materials including red brick, plastics, concrete, treated wood, fabrics, packaging, stones, carpets, electrics, textiles and "lumps of other materials... all mixed-up". It was estimated that more than 4.5 tonnes of waste had been dumped at the site.

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