Council chiefs have warned messy residents to clean up their act - after taking court action against a pair of tenants and a housing firm who failed to clear up waste-riddled homes.
Environmental officers at South Tyneside Council secured successful prosecutions in three cases after receiving a flood of complaints over the state of back yards in Boldon Colliery and Hebburn.
Jordan Walker, aged 22, was served a notice under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring him to clean the yard after Environmental Enforcement inspectors found piles of domestic refuse, debris and dog faeces attracting flies, and the potential to attract rodents, in Arnold Street in Boldon Colliery in July.
Although the refuse and dog waste was cleared as requested, the yard was found to be un-sanitised – a condition of the notice – on a subsequent inspection. During further visits the conditions remained unacceptable with significant fly activity.
The case was proven in Mr Walker’s absence during a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court. He was ordered to pay a £400 fine as well as an additional £290 covering costs, a criminal court charge and a victim surcharge – a total of £690.
South Tyneside Council also prosecuted Michael Armour, also of Arnold Street. He too was served with a Section 80 notice in July to remove dog mess from his yard.
The 27-year-old failed to comply with the order when officers found no change in the situation over three further inspections. Again officers saw that the waste was attracting a significant number of flies to the yard.
Magistrates proved the case in Mr Armour’s absence. He was ordered to pay a £120 fine and additional costs, a criminal court charge and victim surcharge of £270 - total of £390.
Also during July officers responded to a complaint when they visited Howe Street in Hebburn and found piles of domestic refuse, debris and discarded material.
A notice was served under Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act against housing management company, SKP Management Limited, based in Chester-le-Street. The notice ordered that the waste be removed and disposed of at a registered waste disposal facility. However, on two further visits in August, officers found no change in the conditions.
The company pleaded guilty by post. The court was also told that the company had arranged for the waste to be removed, however this did not happen.
Magistrates ordered the company to pay a total of £1,062. This included a £400 fine, £372 in compensation as well as £290 to cover costs, a criminal court charge and victim surcharge.
A Council spokesman said: “Prosecution is always a last resort but in each of these cases, the conditions were unacceptable and the notices we served requiring the waste to be removed were not complied with.
“We are committed to keeping our neighbourhoods clean and have a duty to prevent this from happening. We were left with no choice but to take action through the courts.”