Johal Scrapyard owner gets “just desserts” for inflicting four years of misery on Colnbrook residents
Forgive the sensationalist headline but we think you will agree it is warranted. Notorious local villain Amrik Johal was JAILED today for three years after a spectacular arrest by police on the runway as he tried to flee the country!
Johal brought misery to large parts of the village for over four years as officials seemed powerless to stop his illegal scrapyard and waste processing centre on the Colnbrook By-Pass.
New owner-occupiers in next door Kings Park, then recently built, were terrorised by Johal’s illegal operations. Some were driven out at a loss, complaining of intimidation, threats of physical violence, and dog excrement thrown over their fences.
Slough Borough Council approved his retrospective application on the tenth attempt. Planning Committee members caused anger at the time by making statements in public session that nearby landfill and incineration made the Green Belt location “appropriate”.
Colnbrook Parish Council entertained negotiations with Mr Johal, who offered the southernmost part of the site adjacent to St Thomas Church as a buffer zone in return for support. The idea was dropped when the extent of local opposition became clear.
Following a public meeting called by former Parish Council chair Laurie Tucker in November 2009, 82 residents took part in a ‘local referendum’ of the affected streets, 99% voting against the proposal. The result was ignored by both the Parish and Slough Borough Council.
Colnbrook Views was set up in 2009 when the site was at its worst in realisation that the village lacked an effective forum to galvanise opposition.
The formidable Jan Bowdler of Vicarage Way, one of the worse affected streets, became the face of local opposition as she managed to gain nothing less than national coverage of the problem.
But it was left to the Environment Agency, in August 2010, to bring Johal’s operation to a halt.
Johal, of Trelawney Avenue, Langley was ordered to pay £800,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and given a two year community sentence, then the largest ever Proceeds of Crime Act ruling ever made.
He was warned then he faced five years in jail if he didn’t pay up.
Johal was convicted on 23 April 2010 after a week long trial for running the illegal waste transfer station and scrap metal yard, which had a devastating impact on local residents living adjacent, as well as throughout the village.
As well as the crushing of cars at all hours complaints included acrid smoke, burning of diesel, dogs barking and left unattended, and powerful floodlights shining into homes late at night.
The conviction took nearly 2 years to secure.
A warrant for his arrest was issued on May 10 after he failed to appear at court to explain why he had not paid up. His attempt to flee the country was scuppered when airport security checks found that a warrant with no bail had been issued for him.
The Metropolitan Police Special Branch at Heathrow Airport was forced to stop the plane while it was taxiing, and Mr Johal was arrested on the runway.
Angus Innes from the EA, said:
“Mr Johal’s imprisonment sends out a clear message to all those who commit waste offences – disobey the law and you will be punished.”
Today, Peter Hood, Colnbrook Parish Council chair, told the Observer that Johal had got his ‘just desserts’.
Amrik Johal is unrelated to the current Mr Johal who took over the site last year, cleaning it up at considerable personal cost.
Johal successor (Johal!) promises to be a good neighbour
What next for Johal’s Scrapyard?
Johal penalty is largest Environment Agency fine ever
Slough approves Johal’s Scrapyard
10th time lucky but not for Slough Johal Skips
Parish Council to hold Referendum on Johal’s “Buffer Zone” offer
Dirty business boss Amrik Johal nicked on the runway – Daily Mirror
Illegal waste boss jailed after being arrested on airport runway – Slough Express
Illegal waste company boss is arrested on Heathrow runaway as he tried to flee the country – Slough Observer