Fly tipper pays price for dumping 800 plastic bags
Release date: 12 January 2016
Cotswold District Council’s drive to outlaw fly tipping was boosted on 11 January when a court convicted an offender and ordered him to pay a fine and costs totalling £1,035.
Ben Wyman, 27, of Apsley Road, Cirencester parked a white transit van in a lay-by on the A429 near Calmsden in December 2014 and dumped about 300 ‘see through’ plastic carpet bags and a cardboard box. He then stopped his van shortly afterwards and dumped another 500 plastic bags by the roadside. This coincided with high winds which blew the bags across the A429, causing motorists to brake and swerve. Fortunately, an Environmental Warden from Cotswold District Council was tipped off swiftly by a member of the public and managed to gather up the bags and dispose of them safely, preventing the risk of a potentially dangerous accident.
The same member of the public had also seen the white van’s registration number and notified officers at Cotswold District Council, who traced the ownership to Mr Wyman. He was then given opportunities to explain his actions to CDC before being taken to court but he declined to attend two appointments. When CDC subsequently referred the matter to Cheltenham Magistrates Court he failed to appear for a hearing, resulting in the police issuing an arrest warrant which saw him being detained and then bailed to attend on 11 January.
During the hearing, he pleaded guilty to the offence and made no comment about the incident. The judge ordered him to pay a fine of £500 plus £500 in costs and a £35 court surcharge.
Speaking after the prosecution, Cllr Sue Coakley, the Cabinet Member for the Environment at Cotswold District Council, said:
“I am very grateful to the community-spirited person who alerted us to this fly tipping incident. Our Environmental Wardens have established good relationships with local people and organisations that are just as keen as we are to combat this anti-social behaviour.”
“There are excellent arrangements in place for everyone to dispose of their waste legally so there is absolutely no excuse for fly tipping. Working with residents across the District we will use every means at our disposal to keep on reducing the number of incidents. In this particular case, Mr Wyman obviously thought that he could evade prosecution by dodging requests to attend meetings at the Council and ignoring a summons to appear in Court. It is clear that his uncooperative behaviour just made things worse for him in the long run.”