A Slough man has been convicted for fly-tipping practically on his doorstep, following an investigation by the council’s neighbourhood enforcement team.
Mark Scott, of Gosling Road, Slough, was successfully prosecuted at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 19 October, after pleading guilty to violations under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
He was issued a fine of £225, ordered to pay costs of £275, as well as a victim surcharge of £30.
The court heard how an initial report was received on Friday 29 September last year, from a resident claiming a brown leather sofa had been left on a footpath in Gosling Road.
On Monday 2 October 2017, a council community warden knocked on nearby residential properties to make enquiries as to who might have been responsible. The warden even spoke with Scott at his home, who denied all knowledge of the incident.
However, a resident who lived nearby rumbled the offender, informing the warden they had witnessed the fly-tipping and could identify the culprit and their vehicle registration. The neighbour was also willing to have all these details documented in a witness statement.
On Wednesday 4 October 2017, the team received an additional report from another local resident indicating some furniture had been left in a garage area off Gosling Road, some time on the previous day or evening.
Amongst the dumped items was the same brown sofa, which had been moved from the footpath. This furniture was subsequently removed and disposed of properly by the council.
Following this, a request was made to the DVLA to obtain the registered keeper details of the vehicle witnessed during the initial fly-tipping of the sofa.
The DVLA identified the registered keeper as the defendant.
Scott was then invited to attend a formal interview under caution by a council neighbourhood housing and enforcement officer, which he declined to attend.
He was also given an opportunity to give his version of events in writing, but a response was not received and he was later issued a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice.
This notice was returned by post with a note signed by Scott stating he had not fly-tipped.
As the fine had not been paid, the prosecution for the offence proceeded.
Though Scott was given two opportunities to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court to enter a plea, he failed to appear on both occasions.
As a result, the court issued a warrant for his arrest, resulting in the defendant having to spend the night in cells until he was able to appear in court.
A date for his hearing was rescheduled, more than a year after the initial crime, and Scott was bailed to appear at Reading Magistrates’ Court last month, where he was finally brought to justice.
Cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, councillor Pavitar K. Mann, said: “I’m pleased with the fines issued to this offender and am grateful to the residents who reported the incidents to our neighbourhood enforcement team.
“Residents have a right to live in a clean and tidy environment and this individual’s lack of respect for his neighbours and surroundings was completely unacceptable.
“We hope this conviction acts as a warning to anyone who thinks it is okay to dump rubbish inappropriately, as the council will intervene and prosecute anyone we find fly-tipping, even if it takes a year to do so.”
If you want to report any concerns regarding fly-tipping, contact the neighbourhood enforcement team on 01753 475111.