A MAN from Blackwood has been given a suspended jail term and fine after refusing to pay for a waste permit from an environmental watchdog.

Clive Payne, of Hall Street, appeared in Newport Crown Court on Monday charged with submitting or controlling waste as a listed operation without an environmental permit.

Following a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) investigation, the 70-year-old was found guilty at trial for running an operation handling, sorting and reducing a mix of used materials.

The court heard the offences were linked to the Senghenydd Minerals Site, in Graig-yr-Hufen Road, near Caerphilly and took place between January 2015- February 2017.

Payne, representing himself, described the offences as “trivial” and noted he had refused to take up a permit with NRW for 15 years.

He said his work was causing no harm or damage to the environment, air, waterways or people and that he had worked in recycling since the age of 22.

He also explained he “had a point to prove” in terms of recycling waste economically, adding he has recycled tonnes of it over the years with a hope to produce more.

The court also heard that Payne had a previous conviction for environmental offences linked to permitting or controlling waste.

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke described the offences as serious, noting Payne’s”history of non-compliance” and recent financial benefit from refusing to pay licence fees.

She added his “persistent refusal” to abide by NRW rules “undermines the regulatory regime” and that his “interpretation” of laws means he will “continue exactly as he has done before”.

“You take the view that everyone else is wrong and you are right,” she said.

Payne was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison suspended for two years, must pay a £1,500 fine for investigation costs and will be electronically monitored between 8pm-6am