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Defendant handed nine-month sentence for breach of planning control

A man who earlier in 2013 was fined £250,000 for unauthorised use of land at his farm has been jailed for nine months.

Nigel Smith, also known as Nigel Weston-Smith, was handed the record fine in January after pleading guilty to breaching enforcement notices issued by Doncaster Council over activities at Manor Farm.

Smith was subsequently found in contempt of court for failing to comply with a High Court order requiring that he clean up the site by 17 May 2013.

In July Judge Richard Seymour QC handed him a one-year prison sentence suspended for 28 days. The judge warned Smith that if the High Court order was not complied with in its entirety within 28 days the 12-month custodial sentence was likely to be activated.

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Earlier this month (13 September) Mr Justice Sweeney sentenced Smith to nine months for breach of planning control.

Any sentence other than imprisonment would “undermine the authority of the law”, the judge said.

However, Mr Justice Sweeney added that if the defendant does order the clearance of the site, Smith could approach the court for remission of his sentence, once done.

The defendant was ordered to pay Doncaster Council’s costs on an indemnity basis.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: "Nigel Smith's ugly developments have blighted a rural Doncaster hamlet for a number of years.

"Mr Smith has been given numerous opportunities to cease his activities and has now paid the severe penalty for his wilful and continued defiance of the council and courts.”

Juan Lopez of Francis Taylor Building represented Doncaster Council in the High Court. Saira Kabir Sheikh, also of FTB, appeared for the local authority in the earlier proceedings in the High Court and the Crown Court.

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