Woman fined after pile of waste found dumped in Sunderland street

She was sentenced in her absence
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A woman who failed to co-operate with an investigation into fly-tipping has been fined by a court.

Numerous black bags of household waste, including food waste, cardboard packaging, and personal documents were found dumped in an open parking area in Watford Close, Witherwack, together with a mattress and a plastic bin.

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Sunderland City Council launched an investigation, with evidence in the dumped waste linking the fly-tip to Denise Louise O’Neil, 30, of Watford Close.

An officer from the council's neighbourhood enforcement team contacted O'Neil over the incident in January 2023.

However, she failed to make contact with the investigating officer, and was subsequently served with a notice under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995, requiring her to attend an interview on 3 February.When O’Neil didn’t attended the interview, the council moved to prosecute her for failing to comply with the notice.O’Neil failed to attend a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 3 October, but the magistrates found her guilty in absence.  She was fined £660 and was ordered to pay costs of £427.91 and £151.21 compensation, resulting in a total financial penalty of over £1200.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean, Green City said: "Residents have told us that they want to see more enforcement action against people who spoil the look and feel our neighbourhoods.

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"I hope this sends a clear message that the city council takes a zero-tolerance approach to fly tipping and that we will take action against those responsible, including those who fail to assist with our enquiries.”

The council said revenue generated from fixed penalty notices, together with costs and compensation awarded by the courts, is invested back into the service and goes towards the costs of cleaning up litter and fly-tipping, keeping highways clean, and further enforcement against littering, graffiti and fly-posting.

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