A woman has been ordered to pay £1,350 after failing to provide information about a fly-tipping incident in South Shields.
Talia Hoskins, aged 20, of Foss Way in South Shields, was prosecuted during a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court after she ignored a notice requesting her to co-operate with the council as it investigated abandoned waste.
South Tyneside Council took action against Miss Hoskins after environmental enforcement officers discovered a quantity of domestic waste at the side of an old mineral line behind Primrose Avenue in June.
Officers traced the rubbish back to Miss Hoskins’ address in the nearby West Harton estate.
After several attempts to reach Miss Hoskins including a letter inviting her to an interview went ignored, the council was forced to issue a Pursuant Notice, which stipulated that she answer questions to assist with the investigation over the abandoned waste.
However, Miss Hoskins failed to comply with the notice – an offence under Section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 – and made no attempt to contact the council about the matter.
The prosecution was the first for South Tyneside Council using this particular legislation.
The case was proven in Miss Hoskins’ absence. She was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a further £350 in court costs, victim surcharge and a criminal courts charge.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We take incidents of fly-tipping extremely seriously and make every effort to take action against those who illegally abandon waste across the Borough.
“Prosecution is always a last resort, but in this particular case, we were left with no option but to pursue it through the courts after our calls for cooperation to help find those responsible went ignored.
“We hope that this prosecution serves as a reminder of our commitment to tackling the issue and sends out a strong message that we will take action against those who fail to comply with notices that are served upon them.”
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