A DIRECTOR of an environmental firm falsified soil sample reports for land earmarked for development, a court heard.

Gary Dainton, formerly a director of the now defunct Dragonfly Environmental, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for fabricating certificates over a five-year period.

The eight offences, which took place between 2005 and 2010, saw Mr Dainton file false reports after his company had supposedly carried out contamination tests on land before it was developed.

Dainton, aged 47, of Fenwick Drive, Westhoughton, pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to the falsified reports.

He was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on August 22.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Dainton’s firm charged clients up to £6,000 a time for producing the falsified reports for the sites.

The conviction forms part of a wider investigation by Greater Manchester Police which involved up to 80 sites.

Three of the sites involved in the case were schools in Bury and Whitefield — All Saints Primary in Whitefield and Elton High School and St John with St Mark Primary, both in Bury.

A spokesman for Bury Council said: “The safety of children in Bury is of the highest priority. When we became aware of these allegations, we commissioned another consultant to carry out surveys at these sites. Residents can be assured that all three sites have proved satisfactory and pose no risk.”

As part of the investigation, all councils in Greater Manchester were contacted by police and asked to look at planning records dating back to 2005. A Bolton Council spokesman said no sites in the borough were involved.

Dainton was arrested in January 2013 and Dragonfly Environmental has since been dissolved.