Three people have been fined hundreds of pounds after they were taken to court in relation to a large amount of dumped rubbish.
Building maintenance professional Peter Henderson was fined for failing to provide information about a fly tipping incident in South Tyneside.
Henderson, of Penrith Road in Hebburn, was prosecuted by South Tyneside Council for failing to comply with a notice requiring him to make himself available to answer questions regarding the abandonment of waste.
The offence related to a quantity of building waste – mainly bricks, roofing materials and filled dumpy bags – found fly-tipped at a place known locally as Spuggies Bridge in Monkton Lane, last October.
South Tyneside Magistrates Court heard how the waste was traced back to the 44-year-old’s company, P&R Building Maintenance, through discarded building supplier invoices and a business card.
Henderson failed to attend interviews to assist with the matter, leaving council officers no alternative but to serve him with a Section 108 Pursuant Notice to make himself available. However, he breached the notice – an offence under Section 110 of the Environment Act.
Henderson admitted the offence, adding that he was unable to attend any of the interviews arranged due to being called out on emergencies.
He added that his company had operated for four to five years without any issues around waste disposal and that he always hires skips and would never condone fly tipping.
Magistrates fined him £500. He was also ordered to pay £100 costs and a £50 surcharge.
Victoria Duffy, 33, of Cowpath Gardens, Gateshead, was also prosecuted after failing to make herself available to answer questions about domestic waste that had been abandoned at a quiet country road at Wardley Lane, Hebburn.
The Court was told that investigating officers were able to trace the waste back to her address.
She ignored a formal notice issued earlier this year inviting her to attend an interview and then went on to commit an offence when she ignored a Pursuant Notice to make herself available.
The case was proven in her absence. She was fined £400 and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
In a further case, Danielle Clark, of Wilberforce Street in Jarrow, was fined £120 and ordered to pay £290 in compensation.
This was in relation to a build-up of household waste in the back yard of a property she had been renting in Chichester Road, South Shields in January.
Magistrates heard that the 19-year-old, who was absent from court, was served an Abatement Notice under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 after the matter was brought to the attention of the Council.
The Notice required her to clear up the waste.
However, when Environmental Health visited the property in February, the amount of rubbish had increased.
She was prosecuted for breaching the Notice.
A council spokesperson said: “The significant cost of clearing and investigating this type of illegal disposal of waste places a huge burden on the finances of the Council. It is not right that law-abiding taxpayers should pick up the tab for such crimes.
“This is why we take issues like this extremely seriously and we will always take action against those who are identified as being responsible and those who hamper investigations into finding the culprits.
“In two of these cases, the defendants thwarted the Council’s efforts when our calls for cooperation went ignored. In all of them, there was a failure to comply with the notices that were served. Prosecution is always a last resort, but here we were left with no other option but to pursue them through the courts.”
To report fly-tipping or other environmental problems, call the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about the many ways waste can be safely and responsibly disposed of in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling