Driver has van seized and gets slapped with £1,200 payment order after vehicle used for fly-tipping in South Shields
Robin David Smith, 62, of Ernest Street, Boldon Colliery, was prosecuted as the owner of a vehicle used to illegally abandon waste in a lane behind Frederick Street, Laygate, in May last year.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that the distinctive van had been caught on CCTV and had also been linked to a series of other fly-tipping incidents which had occurred across the borough.
Investigating officers from South Tyneside Council’s environmental enforcement team traced the vehicle to registered keeper Smith, who was warned it would be seized if incidents continued. The van was subsequently seized in June.
The court heard Smith admitted under caution he was the owner of the vehicle at the time of the offence in May, but said he was not responsible for fly-tipping the waste and had no knowledge of it happening.
He was prosecuted as being responsible for the vehicle and pleaded guilty in court. He was fined £600 and ordered to pay an additional £600 in costs as well as a £65 victim surcharge.
The court granted a council application that the seized vehicle be forfeit. It will now be destroyed.
A council spokesperson said: “Fly-tipping blights our communities, not to mention the detrimental impact it has on the environment and the risk it poses to the public and wildlife. It is also one of the key issues on which our residents quite rightly want to see action taken.
“We do all we can to identify those responsible and will use all the legal powers available to us. This includes pursuing the keepers of vehicles.
“We hope seizure of the vehicle and subsequent prosecution will act as a stark warning to any drivers tempting to illegally deposit waste. They not only risk a criminal conviction; they could lose their vehicle too.
“The council spends more than £2million a year keeping the Borough clean and tidy with the illegal disposal of waste placing an additional burden on taxpayers.”
To report fly-tipping, contact the council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000 or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit
For further information about the safe and responsible disposal of waste, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling