Pair fined following council probe into sofa dumped in South Shields front garden and suspected fly-tipping in Cleadon Hills

Failure to heed warnings over a discarded sofa in a front garden or answer questions about suspected fly-tipping have seen a pair of South Tyneside residents ordered to pay a combined total of almost £600.

South Tyneside magistrates fined Stacey Brown, of Chesterton Road, South Shields, £220 in her absence, after she failed to comply with a notice requiring her to remove rubbish from her front garden.

She was also told to pay £100 costs and an £88 victim surcharge.

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Enforcement officers were informed about waste, including a sofa piling up in the garden in June last year.

Waste in Stacey Brown's front garden.

Despite multiple inspections and warnings, including a notice served under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, to clear it up, she failed to do so.

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In another case, rubbish found fly-tipped in Cleadon Hills led to a £60 fine for Robin Smith, of Ernest Street, Boldon Colliery.

He was also told to pay a £24 victim surcharge and £100 costs.

The court heard bags of waste, including wood and a bathroom sink, were found dumped illegally at the nature reserve in August.

South Tyneside Council investigators were alerted to Smith – who has been previously been convicted of fly-tipping and is currently subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order – after a car believed to be owned by him was captured on CCTV entering and leaving the site of the illegal fly-tip.

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The council took him to court after he failed to make himself available to answer questions over the abandonment of the rubbish - an offence under section 110 of the Environment Act 1995.

According to South Tyneside Council, more than £2 million is spent every year on “keeping the borough clean and tidy”.

Cllr Jim Foreman, cabinet member for Housing and Community Safety, said: "Leaving rubbish to accumulate is inconsiderate to neighbours who want to take pride in where they live, and it is also hazardous because it can attract vermin.

"All the waste has since been removed by South Tyneside Council's abandoned waste team at the taxpayers' expense

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"Members of the public can help by being our eyes and ears and reporting any incidents to the council so we can investigate."

Suspected fly-tipping can be reported to the council by calling 0191 427 7000 or online via the council’s website.