Published: 17:22, 14 March 2019
| Updated: 13:50, 19 March 2019
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of three members of a family who have been convicted of the unauthorised dumping of waste on land near Faversham.
James Mete, 56, and his daughters Billie, 27, and Lucy, 26, went on trial at Maidstone Crown Court but then went missing after the case had started.
The warrant was issued and the trial continued in their absence.
They denied knowingly causing or permitting operation of a regulated facility, namely a waste operation on land adjoining Thirwell Farm in Drove Lane, Hernhill.
The three appeared without legal representation, telling a judge: “We’re standing as men and women.”
Prosecutor Rebecca Vanstone said they had control over a piece of land where bricks and other rubble were deposited.
James and Billie Mete were living there.
“They knew what was happening on the land and could have stopped it, but they contributed to it,” said Miss Vanstone.
“Large piles of waste, soil and construction material were deposited on the land. Companies used the site to get rid of material.
“James Mete was at the head of the operation. He made arrangements and agreed for companies to deposit waste on the site.
“Billie Mete was living there and aware of the activities. Lucy Mete was the owner.”
Miss Vanstone said there had to be a permit in place to allow such activities.
Between December 31 2014 and April 13 2015, 120 loads of waste were deposited at the site.
The total amount paid was £15,500.
When officials paid one visit to the site, James Mete was driving a bulldozer.
He said he had been living there since 2014 and had control of the piece of land since 1991.
He said he and his family had used the land because he had an agreement. He claimed household waste had been left there by fly-tippers.
He added that they decided soil was needed for the site and did not think a permit was needed.
Lucy Mete said they wanted to raise the height of the second piece of land so that it was in line with the first piece.
Billie Mete said she moved there in 2015.
The waste would be tipped onto an existing pile and processed. She would feed it into a “screener”, she said.
She added she did not have any control over the waste coming in.
Judge Martin Huseyin will pass sentence after the warrants have been executed.