A Sunderland man has been handed a suspended prison sentence after he admitted dumping several tonnes of furniture, white goods and rubbish in fly-tipping hot-spots on Wearside.
Chad Proctor, 28, was jailed for 18 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to pay a total of £1,750, which include a £400 fine, along with costs and compensation.
Appearing before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, he had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of depositing waste without a permit, between July and September, last year, and of failing to produce a signed waste transfer note. He was back in court for sentence, following the preparation of a report by the Probation Service.
The court heard residents living in a tiny cul-de-sac in Doxford Park, last summer reported repeatedly seeing Proctor’s yellow caged van arrive fully laden with waste, before returning empty minutes later.
Proctor – trading as B&C Service – said an unnamed associate had borrowed the van at the time.
Jim Wotherspoon, for Sunderland City Council, said: “Over a number of months Nettles Lane has been subject to a number of large fly-tips with the public highway being blocked.
Only extremely careless, selfish and immature people tip waste in the open countryside. The photographs show a huge amount of waste has been transported in your van and subsequently dumped in a way that has disfigured a significant area of countrysideDistrict Judge Roger Elsey
“No evidence of whom it came from could be found within the waste.”
Mr Wotherspoon said that on Friday, July 24, a resident of Honeysuckle Close, reported concerns about a mysterious van.
The woman said it would arrive in the street on a Friday, before leaving at 11.10pm on the following Sunday, returning empty 10 minutes later.
Council officers attended the scene to find the Procter & Sons branded van with items including furniture and white goods.
On Monday, the resident reported the van having left on the previous evening.
The items seen on the van were found on Nettles Lane, just over a mile away.
The pattern continued over a number of weeks, with fly-tips also being dumped at Burdon Lane and Hangman’s Lane, as well as Staithes Road carpark in Washington.
Mr Wotherspoon said 5.5 tonnes of rubbish had to be removed from Nettles Lane and Staithes Road at a cost of £1,150. Clean-up of the privately owned land, had to be funded by the owners.
“The person who controls the use of the motor vehicle is treated by law as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited,” he added.
Proctor, of Ferndale Road, Penshaw, was traced by DVLA records. The van, which was fully laden with rubbish, was parked on his drive.
He pleaded on the basis that he had allowed somebody else to use the van and had not taken the necessary steps to ensure he was not using it for fly-tipping.
Fly-tipper Chad Proctor was called “careless, selfish and immature” by a judge.
Sentencing him for blighting the landscape with tonnes of rubbish, District Judge Roger Elsey told him: “Only extremely careless, selfish and immature people tip waste in the open countryside.
“The photographs show a huge amount of waste has been transported in your van and subsequently dumped in a way that has disfigured a significant area of countryside.
“This was a reckless disregard for the law for which you are responsible.
“It has caused a significant negative impact on what is green belt land and only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
In mitigation, Proctor’s solicitor Ian Haq, said his client was receiving help from community organisations in relation to gambling, anger management and domestic abuse.
“Mr Proctor was not responsible for the dumping himself but it was dumped using a vehicle which was in his use at the time.
“He is self-employed in the very early stages of setting up a gardening business.”
Mr Haq said Proctor needs to use the van for his new business and asked that it not be seized, adding that he will no-longer use it for scrap collecting.
Proctor said: “I‘ve had all my stickers removed and will put new ones on for gardening.”
Judge Elsey said he would not order the van to be seized adding “I will not order confiscation of the vehicle because you are using that to set yourself up in employment.”