Two South Tyneside men have been ordered to pay £300 each after they ignored notices to assist in the investigation of three flytipping incidents.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the two separate cases of Paul Reed, of Commercial Road, South Shields, and Sean McAlindon, of Saxon Way, Jarrow, who were both convicted of failing to comply with notices requiring them to make themselves available to answer questions regarding the abandonment of waste.
They were convicted after separate trials, both having pleaded guilty at earlier hearings before Christmas.
Both defendants raised the defence that they did not receive the notices, which were hand delivered. However, those defences were rejected by the magistrates who heard the cases.
Each were fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £30.
South Tyneside Council took legal action after council environment enforcement officers were informed that a quantity of waste, mainly carpet underlay and packaging, had been abandoned on a country lane near Cleadon Hills Water Tower in April last year.
Magistrates heard that the waste was traced to the former occupier of a property in Commercial Road, who attended an interview under caution and gave information about the new tenant of the property.
However, the new tenant, Paul Reed ignored an invitation, which was hand delivered on May 4, 2018, to attend an interview under caution.
A Section 108 Notice, under the Environment Act 1995, that was later served requiring the 36-year-old to make himself available for questioning regarding the abandoned waste, was also disregarded – an offence under Section 110 of the Environment Act.
In the separate case, Mr McAlindon, 31, was found guilty of failing to comply with a Section 108 Notice requiring him to make himself available to discuss the matter of abandoned waste relating to two incidents only days apart in April last year.
In the first, enforcement officers were informed about a substantial quantity of waste furniture, including cushions, abandoned behind Alice Street in South Shields.
The waste in the second incident, at Hebburn Riverside, included clothes and household junk, as well as a sofa cushion matching those found at the Alice Street site.
In both instances, investigating officers found identification amongst the waste which led them to Mr McAlindon’s address in Saxon Way.
A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “The Council spends more than £2million a year keeping the borough clean and tidy, and the illegal disposal of waste places an additional burden on taxpayers.
“We do all we can to identify those responsible.
“Prosecution is always a last resort, but the council was left with no alternative in these cases but to pursue the matters through the courts.
“We hope this serves as a reminder that we will take action against those who obstruct our investigations and fail to comply with the notices served on them.”
To report fly-tipping contact South Tyneside Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.
All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Alternatively, Report It online via the council’s website HERE.