South Hetton man fined Â£900 after flytipping crime
A fly-tipper who ran away after his vehicle got stuck as he tried to flee has been left more than Â£900 worse off.
Weeks later, Leon Lincoln, 23, of South Hetton, was also caught collecting scrap metal without a licence.
He now finds himself with a criminal record following a prosecution brought by Durham County Council as part of its Operation Stop It crackdown on fly-tipping.
Peterlee magistrates heard how a council neighbourhood warden responded to a report of a fly-tip in progress near Brandon in April.
The incident ultimately saw large quantities of household waste left strewn around the countryside spot.
The warden attended and was told by police that the vehicle involved had got stuck as the driver attempted to pull away. He and a passenger then ran away when challenged by the landowner.
Checks of the vehicle showed it to belong to the defendant, who lives at Hawthorn Cottages.
Lincoln agreed to attend an interview but failed to do so.
He was issued with a notice requiring him to provide information about the fly-tip but did not respond.
The court also heard how in May a council neighbourhood warden spoke to the driver of a wagon carrying scrap metal.
The driver gave his name as the defendant and when asked to produce his licence to collect scrap, said he had left his documents at home.
The warden later carried out checks which revealed that Lincoln did not hold such a licence.
The defendant was served with notice to produce his or his business’ waste carriers licence but failed to do so.
Lincoln was then issued with a fixed penalty notice for £300 but did not pay.
He was taken to court by the council for depositing controlled waste, failing to provide information on a fly-tip, collecting scrap without a licence and failing to produce a waste carriers licence.
Lincoln pleaded guilty to all and apologised for his actions.
He was fined £320 and ordered to pay costs of £565.41 and a victim surcharge of £32 – a total of £917.41.
Operation Stop It is the council’s biggest ever clampdown on fly-tipping, delivered in partnership with Durham Police, the Environment Agency and Crimestoppers.
Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “I’d remind anyone with a lot of rubbish to dispose of that there are plenty of ways to get rid of it.
“You can take it to one of our household waste recycling centres free of charge and we can also collect bulky household items by arrangement.
“I’d also say to anyone thinking of collecting waste to make money: you must have a licence.
“Members of the public are similarly advised not to give rubbish to anyone without checking their documents first.”
For information on how to dispose of household waste visit go to www.durham.gov.uk/recycling.