Sunderland man fined after waste dumped at Wearside nature reserve

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A man has been slapped with a hefty fine in court after waste containing evidence linked to him was dumped at a Wearside nature reserve

Dean Harding, 57, of Chantry Close, Sunderland was suspected of fly-tipping three large dumpy bags of waste on a bridle path that forms part of the nature reserve.

After residents reported the dumped waste to Sunderland City Council, Environmental Enforcement Support Officers searched the waste and found evidence linking it to Harding.

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Officers then made several attempts to contact him, but he failed to respond.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Harding was required to attend an interview as part of the investigation. However, when he failed to turn up, the city council took action to prosecute for failing to assist with the investigation.

Harding failed to attend a court hearing at South Tyneside Court on Wednesday 5 October, but magistrates found him guilty in his absence.

He was fined £1,100 and ordered to pay £390 costs and a £110 victim surcharge.

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Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean, Green City, said: "We hope this sends a clear message that the council takes a zero-tolerance approach to fly tipping and that we will take action against those responsible and those who fail to assist us with our enquiries.”

She said the desire of residents to see more enforcement action was one of the key things to come out of the City Council's Let's Talk consultation in 2020.

All the revenue generated from fixed penalty notices, including costs and compensation awarded by the courts, is ploughed back into the service and goes towards the costs of cleaning up litter and fly-tipping, keeping highways clean, and enforcement against littering graffiti and fly-posting.