Sunderland fly-tipper caught dumping sofa in street on Christmas Day by eagle-eyed council chief

Edward Gill was spotted with the sofa that was dumped in Hendon.
Edward Gill was spotted with the sofa that was dumped in Hendon.

A fly-tipper was caught twice dumping rubbish in residential streets.

Edward Gill was seen by Sunderland City Council's deputy leader dumping a sofa, and an alert council enforcement officer spotted him dumping trade waste.

Gill, who failed to turn up at Sunderland Magistrates' Court for his trial, was warned he faces arrest if he doesn't turn up to be sentenced later this month.

Coun Michael Mordey told the court he was visiting his mother for Christmas Day lunch when he saw Gill at the front of his property on the other side of the street manhandling a sofa.

"I knew the man to be Edward Gill," said Coun Mordey.

"I was suspicious of what he was doing, and kept an eye on him.

"He wheeled the chair on a trolley into the back lane where I later saw it dumped."

The court heard a council environmental enforcement officer, Victoria Patterson, saw Gill and two other men clearing waste from the disused Ivy Leaf social club premises in Suffolk Street, Hendon.

"I was on my way to an unrelated appointment," said Ms Patterson.

"I was aware there had been complaints about the run down state of the Ivy Leaf, so I was interested to see clearance work being done.

"Some of the rubble was being put in domestic wheelie bins, and some in plastic bags, and buckets.

"I saw Edward Gill dragging wheelie bins and bags up the rear lanes of Hendon Burn Avenue and Athol Road, where the items were left."

Ms Patterson said she approached two men in a van at the Ivy Leaf site to ask about the rubbish, but she was told to mind her own business.

She returned the following day to find the wheelie bins, rubble sacks, and buckets had been spread around the surrounding back lanes, and some had been left in the gardens of empty houses.

Gill, 50, of Tower Street West, Hendon, denied two charges of illegally dumping waste on November 9, and December 25, both 2017.

He denied a charge of knowingly permitting an activity in contravention of an environmental permit, and he denied a charge of failing to produce waste transfer records.

Tony Southwick, defending, said he had acted for Gill earlier in the case, but could not explain why he had not turned up for the trial.

Mr Southwick withdrew from the case.

Gill was convicted of all four offences in his absence.

Sentence was adjourned until March 20.

The magistrates ordered Gill to be written to, warning him he will be arrested if he fails to turn up for the next hearing.

The Echo is continuing to run a Clean Streets campaign, the Echo’s Clean Streets campaign, which is calling on Wearsiders to take more care of their personal rubbish and also report any incidents of fly-tipping or rubbish dumping.

After the case, Coun Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "Thanks to the work of the council’s enforcement team and public vigilance, we’re continuing to secure more convictions against people and businesses who think it’s okay to leave waste wherever they like.

"Well, it isn’t okay and these latest convictions show that fly-tipping in our city is unacceptable, illegal and must not be tolerated.

"I would encourage anyone with information to report fly-tipping immediately and if we all work together we can help stop it."

You can report fly-tipping at or on 0191 520 5550.