A number of residents in South Tyneside have been prosecuted for failing to clear up rubbish at their properties.
In all four cases, the residents were prosecuted by South Tyneside Council for failing to comply with a notice issued under the provision of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 by not removing items likely to harbour pests.
The rubbish included a build-up of refuse filled carrier bags or bin liners as well as other household items.
They were ordered to pay a total of more than £1,000 during the hearings at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
In the joint case of Beverley Williams, 35, and James Phinn, 29, of Oxford Street, both residents were ordered to pay £160 each which included a fine, costs and victim surcharge.
Angela Lea, 43, was ordered to pay compensation of £482.40 for failing to comply with a notice to clear rubbish from her property in Collingwood Street in Hebburn.
Shannon Hale, 21, of Talbot Road, was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and compensation of £182.40 in relation to a build up of rubbish and materials left in her back yard.
The cases were proven in their absence.
Alan Storey, 57, of Quarry Lane, attended court and admitted failing to comply with the notice served upon him. The court heard that Mr Storey was slowly regaining his strength after surgery and had found it difficult to carry out certain tasks.
He was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20.
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council, said: “As well as being unsightly, rubbish left lying around poses a public health risk as it can attract vermin. It is the responsibility of residents to control the build up of waste on their properties.
"We do everything we can to work with residents to sort out these problems and going to court is always a last resort.
"But, when notices are left ignored, we have no choice but to take action in this way. We hope these cases send out a clear message that we will not tolerate the actions of a small minority who persist in this sort of behaviour.”
For further information about the many ways waste can be safely and responsibly disposed of in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling.