Men jailed as CDC continues to track down fly tippers
Release date: 21 August 2015
Cotswold District Council recorded two successes in court this week in its continuing campaign to combat fly tipping. Most notably, one case resulted in two jail sentences.
The most prominent case involved David Lee, 38, of Dudgrove Lane, Fairford, who was the director of Rapid Skips, an unlicensed waste disposal company which used the Environment Agency logo on its website and invoices to fool customers into believing that it was a legitimate firm. A colleague of Mr Lee transported 20 tons of building waste from a site in Cheltenham and dumped it in a farm gateway area near Ready Token, Cirencester, blocking access to farm stock and staff. At Gloucester Crown Court on Tuesday 18 August, Mr Lee admitted that he had approved the fly tipping despite the fact that he had previously received a suspended jail sentence for a similar offence. Mr Lee, who has a history of environmental offences, also pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining an electricity supply to run his business, and was sentenced to imprisonment for 14 months.
The colleague who had actually dumped the waste, Keith Mileham, 33, also of Dudgrove Farm, Fairford, was sentenced last month to 30 months in jail for fly tipping, receiving a stolen skip, and other offences. Mr Lee had originally been due to be sentenced at the same time as Mr Mileham, but had absconded during a recess. Prior to the court hearing, neither of the men had responded to CDC requests for an interview or had cooperated in any way with the investigation. They were eventually apprehended by Cirencester Police when they were reported for several motoring offences while driving a skip hire vehicle.
Meanwhile, on Monday 17 August, Stroud Magistrates’ Court prosecuted Kevin While, 26, of 97 North Home Road, Cirencester who pleaded guilty to fly tipping and duty of care charges after he unloaded the contents of a transit van - including children’s toys, and books - at the entrance to a field in Ready Token, near Cirencester. Mr While had claimed that he had intended to take the rubbish to a tip which had been closed and claimed that he dumped it in the field because he had already seen an abandoned fridge freezer there. The Magistrates felt that Mr While had displayed totally unacceptable behaviour, and were disappointed that an arrest had been necessary to compel him to attend the Court hearing. As a result, he was fined £750 and was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £75 - a grand total of £1,325
Following the court cases, Cllr Sue Coakley, Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Environment and Communities, commented:
“Once again I am full of praise for the Council’s Environmental Wardens – Sue Ponting and George Lager – and our legal team, particularly Principal Solicitor Susan Gargett, for the excellent work they have done to bring these offenders to justice. In both cases, the Wardens worked with the public to trace the fly tipped items, and undertook detailed investigations to trace the culprits. Once the evidence had been gathered, Mrs Gargett joined forces with our barrister to prepare a water tight case. The actions of these people caused great and unnecessary inconvenience to landowners and others. From a Council perspective, it costs tens of thousands of tax payers’ money to remove illegally dumped rubbish and investigate its origins, so it is right that the penalties should be steep when offenders are brought to justice. The message is loud and clear - fly tipping is a crime and we will take action in every case where we have the evidence to do so,”
- If you spot someone fly tipping in the district, please keep your distance but do try to record details such as vehicle makes and registration numbers and general descriptions of the offenders. You can then report the offence to the Council using the relevant form on our website or by calling us on 01285 623123.
- Be very careful when engaging third parties to take waste away – they are required to have a waste carrier’s licence and you should check that this is in order before they begin the job. People failing to exercise this duty of care can be prosecuted if the third party subsequently commits a fly tipping offence.