Three people face court over mustard gas near Woodhall Spa

Police cordoned off the scene at Roughton Woods. (October 2017)
Police cordoned off the scene at Roughton Woods. (October 2017)

Three people - including a man from Woodhall Spa - have been summoned to appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Thursday August 15 following an investigation into mustard gas found at Roughton Woods almost two years ago.

The summons follows Lincolnshire Police’s investigation - named ‘Operation Saddleback’ - into reports of mustard gas canisters being located at Roughton Woods, near Woodhall Spa in October 2017. The prosecutions are brought jointly by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Environment Agency.

Emergency services and armed forces attended the scene at Stixwould Lake (October 2017).

Emergency services and armed forces attended the scene at Stixwould Lake (October 2017).

• Martyn Tasker, 39, of Longdales Road, Lincoln, has been summoned to appear for the following offences:

1. On October 4, 2017 at Lincoln without the authority of the Secretary of State, had in your possession a firearm, namely Bren Machine Gun which was so designed or adapted that two or more missiles could be successively discharged without repeated pressure on the trigger

2. Between September 27, 2017 and October 1, 2017 you did have in your possession a chemical weapon, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas).

3. On September 30, 2017 at Stixwould Lake, Woodhall Spa in the county of Lincolnshire, you did contravene Regulation 12(1) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 in that you caused a water discharge activity, namely the discharge or entry to inland freshwaters of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter and/or waste matter, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas) otherwise than as authorised by an environmental permit.

• Michaela Tasker, 31, of Longdales Road, Lincoln has also been summoned to appear for the following offences:

1. Between September 27, 2017 and October 1, 2017 you did have in your possession a chemical weapon, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas).

2. On September 30, 2017 at Stixwould Lake, Woodhall Spa in the county of Lincolnshire, you did contravene Regulation 12(1) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 in that you caused a water discharge activity, namely the discharge or entry to inland freshwaters of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter and/or waste matter, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas) otherwise than as authorised by an environmental permit.

• Stuart Holmes, aged 50, of Witham Road, Woodhall Spa, is summoned to appear for the following offences:

1. On September 30, 2017 you did contravene section 33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in that you deposited controlled waste, namely a quantity of liquid containing sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas), in or on land at Roughton Woods, Woodhall Spa in the county of Lincolnshire otherwise than in accordance with an environmental permit.

2. Between September 28, 2017 and October 1, 2017 you did contravene section 33(1)(c) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in that you kept and/or disposed of controlled waste, namely a quantity of liquid containing sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas) in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

3. Between September 27, 2017 and October 1, 2017 you did have in your possession a chemical weapon, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas).

4. On September 30, 2017 at Stixwould Lake, Woodhall Spa in the county of Lincolnshire, you did contravene Regulation 12(1) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 in that you caused a water discharge activity, namely the discharge or entry to inland freshwaters of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter and/or waste matter, namely canisters of liquid sulphur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas) otherwise than as authorised by an environmental permit.

Lincolnshire Police will not offer any further comments while proceedings are active.