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Golf pro dumped waste on course
A GOLF pro is more than £15,000 out of pocket after dumping waste at his course near Oxford.
Dean Davis, 36, buried 21 containers of fertiliser and oil at the Hinksey Heights Golf Club, South Hinksey.
Davis pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court to disposing of the waste without a permit and in a way likely to cause pollution.
The court heard he had buried the waste left by former course owner David Heads to save money.
Davis dumped 376 kilos of fertiliser, 67 litres of liquid fertiliser and six litres of waste oil at the course between October 26 and November 11 last year.
Marie De Viell, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said: “The agency does not have any evidence of actual environmental harm.
“We are talking here about a potential risk. The concerns were any chemical could have been dissolved into the ditch and into the Hinksey Stream.”
The court heard Davis, the golf pro at Hinksey Heights, took over the struggling business in February 2010 and had raised the membership from 223 to 456.
Simon Graham-Harrison, defending, said: “The golf club he took over was in something of a dilapidated condition.
“There was a certain amount of waste and general rubbish left strewn around that might be a reflection of the financial difficulties the previous proprietor got into.”
He also said Davis had little chance of getting Mr Heads to collect the waste, adding: “Relations between the two men were strained.”
Davis asked an employee to dig the hole with a JCB near a drainage ditch, but another worker refused to bury the waste.
Mr Graham-Harrison added: “Mr Davis has never sought to hide the fact that what he was doing was probably wrong or unlawful.
“He had the genuine belief there was not any risk of harm to the environment.”
Davis was fined a total of £6,600 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,623.
The Environment Agency had already charged him £1,300 to dispose of the waste after a member of the public reported it.
Magistrate Gillian Kay said: “This was a deliberate act that you knew was unlawful. This was a reckless act and there was a potential risk of serious environmental harm.”
Friday’s hearing came two days after another high profile sentencing to do with a golf course.
Michael and Ronald Wyatt were handed prison sentences for contempt after failing to clear up material buried at Waterstock Golf Club. The pair were bailed pending an appeal against their respective four- and six-month sentences.