A PAIR of brothers who ran a waste collection business, dumping it in their back garden and costing council taxpayers’ £54,342 to clear the mess, must now sell their house.

There had been a plague of hundreds of rats and they’d received ten-month suspended jail terms.

On Tuesday, November 5 a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was held at Caernarfon crown court.

Judge Niclas Parry declared the brothers Ian Murray, 54, and Raymond Murray, 61, benefitted by £72,637 from their criminality. Ian had £30,413 available and Raymond £37,153.

They will serve 12 months imprisonment if they fail to pay the recoverable sum within three months. They ran the unlawful tip from Gwellyn Avenue, Kinmel Bay, in Conwy county.

Judge Parry ordered them to place their house for sale for £150,000 within a week. Compensation will be paid to Conwy council to reimburse the public purse for the “staggering cost this criminality has cost to repair,” the judge remarked.

When the pair appeared in court at Llandudno they pleaded guilty to acting without an environment permit.

Prosecuting for Natural Resources Wales, solicitor Dafydd Roberts had said :“Both defendants were basically running an illegal waste facility at their home address.”

Mr Roberts said that when an official visited their home he found hundreds of bin bags throughout the garden, with a variety of domestic waste including mattresses, furniture and sections from cars.

“There was clear evidence of a huge rat infestation with bags of domestic rubbish having been ripped open, and rat burrows,” Mr Roberts told magistrates.

Conwy council received complaints from neighbours about rats and served a notice for the mess to be cleared within 21 days but this didn’t happen.

The council employed contractors and used 160 bait traps, equivalent to a month’s normal use in the entire county. Estimates were that between 400 and 500 rats were killed. More than 123 tons of waste were cleared.

When holidaymakers arrived at an adjoining caravan park they found dead rats in awnings and rats running around a children’s play area which had to be closed and disinfected. Some customers were refunded their fees.

Craig Hutchinson, defending, contended that the brothers’ culpability was reckless rather than a deliberate act. They had been taxi drivers for 20 years until losing their licences in 2016. For twelve months they incurred increasing debt and it was then decided to collect rubbish, charging £50 a load. They would then pay £36 to a private contractor to whom they would take it. “But things got out of hand,” he declared.

Conwy county became the first in Britain to introduce bin collections every four weeks. Previously there were three-weekly collections, although in some areas a pilot monthly scheme was operating.