Council secures prosecution for fly tipping
Release date: 10 October 2018
Gloucester resident Christopher Paxton was fined at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 8 October after pleading guilty to dumping waste in a field in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (near Kingscote) while masquerading as a registered waste contractor.
Cotswold District Council officials learned that Mr Paxton collected the waste from a Tetbury resident who had engaged Mr Paxton’s services through Facebook. When first questioned, Mr Paxton lied to evade prosecution but changed his plea to guilty when confronted by the evidence.
Due to his poor financial circumstances he was fined only £150 when he appeared at the Magistrates’ Court but the Council was awarded a contribution of £400 towards legal costs and he was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30, bringing the overall total to £580.
Cllr Sue Coakley, Cabinet Member for Environment at CDC, comments:
“I hope that Mr. Paxton’s prosecution sends out a message to other rogue waste collectors who attempt to flout the law in this way.
“Facebook is a very useful resource but it does have its limitations, and I must stress that anyone who engages a third party to remove waste must check that they have a valid licence before they undertake the work. A lot of people do not realise that they can be prosecuted for failing to exercise this duty of care should the third party subsequently commit a fly tipping offence.
“There are good arrangements in place for everyone to dispose of their waste legally so there is absolutely no excuse for fly tipping. The magistrate noted that fly tippers are killing the countryside, and we will continue to use every means at our disposal to reduce the number of incidents in the Cotswolds. We are always grateful for tip-offs from the public who can call us directly on 01285 623123 to report any suspicious activity.