A SOUTH Shields woman who failed to clear discarded furniture from her front yard has been fined £600 by magistrates.
Kimberley Wanless was found guilty in her absence by South Tyneside Magistrates of failing to comply with a statutory notice served under Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.
The action was taken after environmental health officers found a discarded bed base, mattress and other furniture in the front yard of her home in Marine Approach, in July last year.
The notice, served in August, required the 27-year-old to remove all the discarded furniture and items from the enclosed front yard and dispose of it at a waste disposal site.
Magistrates heard the notice was ignored, and within weeks environmental health officers were told the furniture had been set on fire.
The council arranged for the rubbish to be removed and prosecuted Ms Wanless for failing to comply with the notice.
She was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £100, a victim surcharge of £60, and £38 in compensation – a total of £798.
A council spokesperson said: “Leaving piles of rubbish lying around attracts vermin and can pose a real health risk. This is an issue we take very seriously.
“Prosecution is always a last resort, but we were left with no option in this case.
“We hope that this large fine sends out a clear message - that we will take action against those who fail to comply with notices that are served upon them.”
To report environmental problems such as fly tipping, dog fouling and abandoned waste, call the council’s customer contact centre on (0191) 427 7000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org