Fly-tipper caught after dumping family photo albums

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A family photo helped snare a fly-tipper who dumped 18 piles of rubbish, a court heard.

Peterlee magistrates ordered Matthew Platten to pay nearly £1,000, after hearing that he had dumped waste he had charged £70 to take away.

Despite promising to dispose of the rubbish properly, Platten dumped it in Coalford Lane, between Littletown and Haswell Plough.

Durham County Council staff found 18 piles of rubbish over about three-quarters of a mile, consisting of clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, ornaments, electrical equipment, photo albums and renovation waste.

Some of the rubbish contained Platten’s name and address

There were also wage slips belonging to a Christopher Laverick.

After checking Facebook, neighbourhood wardens then discovered that Platten, 25, was advertising a firm called D&M Platten Waste Management Services.

Platten was caught after photos from one of the dumped albums were published in the local media and were recognised by Mr Laverick’s mother, who confirmed the albums were kept at her son’s home.

The warden visited Mr Laverick and he had a series of text messages on his phone between himself and Platten, showing the arrangement to remove the rubbish. Platten, of Devonshire Road, Belmont, admitted knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited otherwise in accordance with an environmental permit, transporting controlled waste when not a registered carrier and committing fraud by failing to dispose of the waste properly, despite arranging to do so properly.

He was fined £460 and ordered to pay costs of £490.32.