On Tuesday 2 August 2022 at Poole Magistrates Court, Richard Dunn (42, of Weymouth) pleaded guilty to illegally dumping stones and gravel on a verge at the side of an unnamed road at Woodsford, Dorchester back in April last year.
The incident was captured on a passing cyclist’s handlebar-mounted video camera. He reported the matter to Dorset Council and provided footage of the incident, as well as a supporting statement. The cyclist came round a bend in the road and passed a car that had stopped in a pull-in where they saw Mr. Dunn stood by the vehicle pouring something onto the verge out of a bag.
After turning and cycling back, the witness noticed the couple getting back into the car. The cyclist called out “That’s not being fly tipped, is it mate?”, to which Mr. Dunn replied “It’s stones” before driving away.
The witness reported the incident as a fly-tip to Dorset Council and submitted the video footage for consideration. The video clearly showed the vehicle’s number plate, enabling Waste Enforcement officers to contact Dorset Police and find out the driver’s address.
Initial attempts to contact Mr. Dunn in person were unsuccessful. When he eventually contacted the Waste Enforcement team, he confirmed he was in the area at the time of the incident but claimed he had been out delivering leaflets on behalf of Resin World Driveways.
Mr. Dunn claimed the boot of the vehicle had come undone and leaflets had spilled out. At the time the cyclist spoke to him, Mr. Dunn claimed he was clearing up the leaflets, and denied fly-tipping despite being informed that the camera footage showed him with a bag and gravel at his feet.
On the 12 May 2021, a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) was issued to the defendant for the fly-tipping offence requiring the payment of £400 within 14 days, or £200 if paid within 10 days. Following non-payment of the FPN, on the 7 June a final reminder was issued. No payment for the FPN was received, so Waste Enforcement and Legal Team officers were left with little option but to prosecute Mr. Dunn. He was summoned to attend Court on Tuesday 14 June but failed to show up, resulting in a warrant without bail being issued.
Mr. Dunn was subsequently arrested and appeared in Poole Magistrates Court on 2 August, where he pleaded guilty to violating Section 33 (1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Considering Mr. Dunn is in receipt of benefits and spent 24 hours in custody, the Court sentenced him to pay £479, including a £150 fine, costs of £300 and £29 compensation.
Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Communities and Customer Services, said: “I am pleased we have made another successful prosecution for fly-tipping, but one cannot ignore the senselessness of the offence. This incident took place less than 5 miles from an open household recycling centre (HRC); If the material were DIY-related waste it would have cost just £1.50 to drop off. If it were business waste, he would not have been able to legally take it to an HRC anyway.
“I want to thank the witness for their help in bringing this case to court, and to the Waste Enforcement and Legal Team officers involved for their work in securing this verdict. I hope it serves as a warning to those who may be looking to save money and/or time by fly-tipping waste; Dorset Council will act whenever possible to help tackle this blight on our beautiful county.”