Asbestos conman ordered to pay back £82,100

  • Business Advice
A construction worker holding a hard hat wearing a hi vis jacket
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

A conman who toured England to deceive customers over the disposal of harmful asbestos has been ordered to pay back £82,100.

Asbestos is a hazardous substance when disturbed and carcinogenic. The UK banned its use in 1999.

Lee Charles of Caldicot Gardens, Grantham, in Lincolnshire, previously pleaded guilty in 2022 to lying to customers and giving false paperwork to hide his deception. He was given a suspended prison sentence. He had marketed himself as Lincs Demolition Limited for 2 years, claiming he was registered to remove asbestos to gain lucrative jobs from Dorking to Doncaster. He had no legal permit to carry out the work.

The defendant was back at Lincoln Crown Court, May 22, in a case brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Following a financial investigation into the lawful costs he avoided from his crimes.

Having duped his customers, Charles stashed the waste asbestos in hired storage containers at Welbourn, in Lincolnshire. 200 metres from a school and close to a Girl Guide centre. Charles told the owners of the storage space he wanted to keep tools there. When he failed to pay the rent on the containers, the owners forced the locks and were confronted with the dangerous contents.

An Environmental Waste Crime Officer for the Environment Agency said “These crimes were not just illegal, but dangerous. He has been ordered to pay back, and this sends out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime does not pay. Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute those who abuse the environment, but we also use the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity”.

Once exposed, Charles abandoned the storage containers at Welbourn, moving his activities to an unpermitted waste site 16 miles away near Sleaford. He continued to store asbestos unsafely, posing a risk to public health.

The Environment Agency’s permitting system enables businesses to carry out their operations, while robust regulation provides the level playing field legitimate businesses need to prevent being undercut by irresponsible or illegal operators.

For more information on managing asbestos at work, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Does our building need an asbestos survey?

Read more from the latest BrAInbox Business News update:

Rolled up holiday pay set to return: what exactly is it?

UK gender pay gap falls at fastest pace since 2017

HMRC advisory fuel rates for company car users from 1 June 2023

Q&A: company credit cards and EV charging

Related articles

  • A man in a suit reading from a tablet while in an office setting


    Strike action contributes to 0.5% shrink in UK economy

    The UK economy contracted by 0.5% in July, with falls in all three main sectors, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Business Advice
  • Director loses £80k tax appeal


    Director loses £80k tax appeal

    A director has lost a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) appeal against penalties charged by HMRC for VAT and corporation tax inaccuracies, which totalled £80,666.31.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Employment Law
  • colleagues gathered round a laptop


    Here’s what I know: AI should assist not ascend

    Is AI a good thing? Or is its growing popularity something for us to worry about?

    Peter DoneGroup Managing Director and Founder
    • Data Protection
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and health & safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.

International sites

© 2023 Peninsula Business Services Limited. Registered Office: The Peninsula, Victoria Place, Manchester, M4 4FB. Registered in England and Wales No: 1702759. Peninsula Business Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the sale of non-investment insurance contracts.

ISO 27001 and 9001 accredited company.
The Sunday Times - Top Track 250.
Glassdoor 2018 Best Places To Work.