Donegal born crime boss jailed

The judge commended the Environment Agency for presenting an overwhelming case for conviction against a criminal operation that ‘was large scale and highly organised’.

With the assistance of Thames Valley Police, the Environment Agency raided an illegal waste site in October 2008, which spread over land the size of five football pitches at Aldermaston, near Reading, seizing an unlicensed handgun and ammunition, other weapons, stolen vehicles, plant equipment and over £50,000 in cash.

O’Donnell (64) of Andrews Close, Theale was subsequently imprisoned in 2009 for four and a half years for possession of the illegal firearm, which was recovered following an Environment Agency search.


Upon his release from prison last Thursday, June 24, O’Donnell was coincidentally sentenced in Isleworth Crown Court the next day to four years in prison for money-laundering and 22 months for waste offences to be served concurrently – the longest prison sentence ever handed out for waste crime.

His accomplices Robert Evans (59) and Peter Lavelle (28), also both of Reading, received 2 years and 18 months respectively for money-laundering, and 14 months and 12 month respectively for waste offences – all to be served concurrently.

Judge Edmunds QC said: “This was deliberate, calculated offending on an industrial scale for profit. You carried on in the teeth of attempts to stop you, and with the clear intention of making as much criminal profit as you could before you were stopped.”


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