Published: 12:30, 19 January 2017 |
Updated: 06:33, 20 January 2017
A recycler who kept thousands of tons of old mattresses in a business park says he was facing personal problems as he battled to clear it.
Lewis Bertram, who ran Eco_Matt.e.r.s, is accused of contravening the Environmental Protection Act by stockpiling the waste at his site in Smarden Park.
The 51-year-old, of Well Street, Loose, has denied three charges including breaching his licences between December 11 2014 and June 10 the following year.
Bertram added that when he was questioned by EP officers in June 2015 he didn't realise he was facing criminal charges.
He told the jury that at the end of 2014 his home life was "an absolute living hell" because of problems with a family member.
He said he and his wife were living as prisoners inside his own home because of violence.
Bertram said that during this period he was surviving on two hours sleep as he sat in tears talking toe the Samaritans and dealing with a mental health team. He said he couldn't just "turn off the switch" and stop trading as he would have lost his business and his home.
Prosecutor Rebecca Vanstone said Bertram had “knowingly permitted” waste to be deposited near the units.
The businessman also denies failing to provide details under Environment regulations as required by law.
The prosecutor said calculations made by an officer estimated 1116 tons of waste on one unit and 1184 tons on a second unit.
The trial continues.
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