A BUSINESSMAN who made £1 million illegally dumping waste on an “unprecedented scale” will probably pay back just £1.

Anthony Holwell dumped the rubbish on land near his home Berryhill Cottage, in Coedkernew.

It was agreed at Newport Crown Court yesterday that Holwell profited to the tune of £1 million from the operation – where mainly demolition waste was dumped on the outskirts of Gwent.

Despite the huge profits, little can be recovered because the 51-year-old is bankrupt and already owes creditors hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Holwell was jailed for 12 months after being convicted of five waste-related offences in October 2010, but is currently serving a seven-year sentence for a separate blackmail conviction.

Prosecutor Timothy Evans said it is difficult to ascertain how much his land around Berryhill Cottage is worth, as it is badly contaminated from the waste-dumping.

Even if this was sold and the money given to his creditors, Holwell would still owe them around £130,000, meaning the Environment Agency is unlikely to get any money back to go towards investigation and clean-up costs.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said Holwell’s offending, along with another man, was one of the worst suffered by one of Gwent’s protected areas, saying damage caused was on an “unprecedented scale”.

Judge Rhys Rowlands will rule on how much Holwell should have to pay from the proceeds of his crime before October 26.

However, he said, because of his bankruptcy, this figure could be a nominal amount of just £1.