South Shields man left 17 used syringes dumped in rubbish left in back lane

A litter lout landed himself in court when he disposed of 17 used syringes among rubbish he left in a back lane.

Council workers collected 13 discarded syringes during one call out to waste dumped at Armstrong Terrace in South Shields, on February 15.

Newcastle Crown Court heard just over an hour later they were called out again and found a shopping trolley containing bags of rubbish, another four syringes and an empty medication bottle displaying Mark Thompson's address and date of birth.

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Prosecutor John Crawford told the court Thompson was invited for interview with council officials, admitted the syringes were his and was issued with a fixed penalty fine of £200, which he did not pay.

Newcastle Crown Court.

Thompson, 41 of Collingwood Street, South Shields, was then taken to court and admitted depositing controlled waste without a permit. The court heard that he was on a suspended sentence at the time.

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced him to a conditional discharge for two years, with a £100 fine and £250 costs.

The judge told him: "This is about disposal of sharps really. I appreciate there were other things but it is the sharps that concern people.

"You know how seriously hospitals treat these."

Judge Earl said Thompson has had a drug problem but added: "He knows the risks involved, he's not stupid."

Claire Anderson, defending, said that Thompson has made good progress in his life since committing the offence, which he does not want to jeopardise by getting in any further trouble.