Sunderland mum dumped maggot-filled rubbish on area where children play

Council chiefs have warned those dumping rubbish in Sunderland: 'We're on your case.'

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 08 February, 2018, 05:00
Litter offender, Kelly Cummings

The stark message comes after a Sunderland fly-tipper was snared after a letter addressed to her was found among maggot-filled household rubbish dumped on a green space where children play.

Kelly Cummings had discarded the black bin bags behind her home because she did not want maggots in her bin for her own children to find, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Rubbish dumped by Kelly Cummings in Tadcaster Road, Sunderland.

The court heard that seven bin bags had been dumped on the plantation area behind the 33-year-old’s home in Tadcaster Road, last May.

The 33-year-old was slapped with a fine after appearing in court yesterday.

Others facing prosecutions who failed to appear before magistrates have had warrants issued for their arrests.

The Sunderland Echo has launched a Clean Streets campaign.

Coun Michael Mordey, the council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said more prosecutions were planned and that such cases showed the local authority will not tolerate anyone responsible for dumping rubbish in the city.

Michelle Irving, prosecuting on behalf of Sunderland City Council in the case of Cummings, said: “On May 25, last year, an environmental investigation officer responded to a report of household rubbish on the plantation area at Tamworth Square, at the rear of Tadcaster Road.

“There were seven black bin bags. The officer found a letter addressed to Kelly Cummings in one of these black bags.

“She visited the address and left a calling card asking her to contacted environmental enforcement.

Rubbish dumped by Kelly Cummings in Tadcaster Road, Sunderland.

“The waste was removed at a cost of £68.01.”

Ms Irving said the officer returned on June 20 and spoke to Cummings, who said she had placed the bags on the plantation because they contained maggots.

“She didn’t want to keep them within the boundaries of her property, in case cats ripped them apart,” Mrs Irving said.

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“She thought the council would remove the bags as part of regular cleansing.

The Sunderland Echo has launched a Clean Streets campaign.

“She showed no remorse for depositing waste on green space, which is used by children.”

The court heard Cummings was offered the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty of £350, reduced to £250 if paid within 10 days, but she never did and was brought before the court.

Cummings, of Tadcaster road, Thorney Close, pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste without an environmental permit.

She is currently subject to a conditional discharge, imposed earlier in May, 2017, for fraudulently claiming tax credits.

Jason Smith, defending, said: “She accepts responsibility at the first opportunity.

“Miss Cummings accepts she deposited these bags after cleaning out her bin and getting rid of the maggots.

“She has young children and she did not want them on her property, so she took them around the corner, where there were other bags.

“She accepts only three of the bags were hers, the other four weren’t.

“She put them around the corner, believing the local authority would be collecting them, which they did.

“She didn’t believe she had done anything wrong.

“She didn’t pay the fixed penalty notice because she couldn’t afford to.”

Cummings was fined £200 and was told to pay a £30 surcharge and £188 costs.

Other defendants who had also been summoned to court to face allegations of depositing controlled waste, without the authority of a current environmental permit issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but who failed to turn up had warrants issued for their arrests.