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Women fined after being found guilty of fly-tipping offences

Rubbish dumped at the rear of Bideford Street in the Grangetown area of Sunderland.
Rubbish dumped at the rear of Bideford Street in the Grangetown area of Sunderland.

Two fly-tippers have been fined after leaving rubbish dumped in streets.

Amy Spraggon and Helen Ritson have both been convicted following hearings at Sunderland Magistrates' Court.

Rubbish found dumped in the Ryhope Street area of Grangetown, Sunderland.

Rubbish found dumped in the Ryhope Street area of Grangetown, Sunderland.

Spraggon, of Ryhope Street, in Grangetown, had left waste outside her property on 22 September last year.

In mitigation, magistrates were told Spraggon, who was in receipt of benefits, was waiting for a relative to remove the waste.

Magistrates ordered her to pay a fine of £60, clean-up costs of £70.46 and council legal costs of £210.00 - a total of £370.46.

The case was brought after the council received information from a member of the public about fly-tipping at the rear of the address in Ryhope Street and more tipping only a few metres away in Bideford Street.

Clean Streets.

Clean Streets.

The council's statement outlined how the waste was traced to Spraggon.

A council enforcement officer interviewed her and offered her the opportunity to take the waste back into her property if it was being removed by a relative.

The offer was declined.

Spraggon told the officer "I'm not paying £350, take me to court."

She was sent a Fixed Penalty Notice for £350 on September 25, 2017, reminders in October and November, and a court summons in December.

The second conviction was against Helen Ritson, of Kelvin Grove, South Shields.

The case was brought after a resident contacted the City Council about fly-tipping in Frosterley Close, Easington Lane, in October 2017.

Waste was traced to Ritson, who in a telephone call to the council's investigating officer said she was unable to discuss matters face-to-face because of her unsociable work hours.

She ended the telephone call and said she was being 'paged' to attend an incident and would return the call.

There was no further contact from Ritson and letters were sent to her in November 2017 and January this year about the disposal of waste from her property.

No information was received and the notice to Ritson stated that an offence is committed if she failed to provide information about the waste and how it got to Easington Lane.

She did not attend court, the case was found proved in her absence and magistrates imposed a fine of £330, a victim surcharge of £33 plus costs of £120 - a total of £483 that Ritson has to pay within 28 days.

Councillor Amy Wilson, the city council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "Not responding and not providing information about how your own domestic waste has been fly-tipped can still lead to a fine.

"If you have information that can help and assist an investigation then it is in your interest to respond to the notice that is served.

"As I and others at the City Council have been saying, the council will investigate and it will prosecute people who do not dispose of their waste appropriately.

"I'm sure the vast majority of people in Sunderland are with me on this and I would like to thank the householders who reported the fly-tipping incidents that helped lead to these convictions."

The latest convictions come as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which is calling on Wearsiders to be more responsible for their own waste in an effort to build a cleaner, more inviting and more welcoming city.

Anyone who sees items they think have been fly-tipped on a street or green space can contact Sunderland City Council to arrange its removal either by reporting it online at sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 0191 520 5550.