A SCRAP collector charged an elderly couple to take away rubbish from their garden and then dumped it in a South Tyneside street.
Mark Pattinson was paid £70 to remove two beds and other household items from the couple’s home.
The 46-year-old was licensed to pick up the rubbish, but instead of taking it to a scrap dealer or recycling depot, he left it at the back of Cannon Grove, Jarrow.
Council environment officers tracked him down after finding contact details for the elderly couple, who live in Wallsend, who put them on to Pattinson.
He denied he had dumped the items, but was caught on CCTV driving through the Tyne Tunnel with the beds on the back of his van.
Pattinson, of Poplar Close, Hebburn, pleaded guilty to fly-tipping at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Angus Taylor, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said: “An elderly couple in Wallsend asked their gardener to clear their back garden, which had a couple of old beds and other items in.
“He said he had the number of a man who could dispose of it for them, which he got from a flyer.
“That number was the defendant’s and he took it away for £70.
“The waste was dumped in the car park area at the back of Cannon Grove in Jarrow, where we accept there may have already been some rubbish.”
Council environmental officer found the rubbish and discovered some documents among it which led them to the couple on Wallsend.
They told the officers that they called Pattinson to remove the rubbish and he took it at about 4pm on March 10.
Mr Taylor added: “We checked CCTV from the Tyne Tunnel which showed Pattinson going through to Jarrow with the items on the back of his van. When Pattinson was interviewed he admitted it was his van but said the rubbish on his van was his mother’s and he took it to a scrapyard in Gateshead, but the scrap yard confirmed he hadn’t been there that day. The phone number the gardener used was also on the records of the Environment Agency – who had recently granted him a licence to collect scrap.
“That licence does not allow him to dump it wherever he pleases.’’
Mr Taylor told the court that the Environment Agency will now revoke Pattinson’s licence.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “This offence can result in a substantial punishment, but that is for large-scale fly-tipping with substances like asbestos involved. There is nothing like that in this case.”
Chairwoman of the bench Lorraine Montgomerie said: “Dishonesty runs right through this. You took money from an elderly couple who thought you were going to safely dispose of their items.
“But you dumped them in a residential area where it made an unsightly mess, could have attracted vermin and would have proved dangerous for children playing nearby.
Pattinson was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £110 court costs and £100 towards the cost of cleaning the rubbish away.