Fly-tipping leaves man with huge bill

A MAN will have to pay almost £1,000 after admitting to fly-tipping at a farm near Berwick.

Craig Allsop, of Sycamore Avenue, Alnwick, but formerly of Berwick, appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

Allsop, 25, pleaded guilty to dumping a variety of household waste on land at Murton White House Farm, near Unthank, on May 19 last year.

The Environment Agency, who prosecuted Allsop, investigated the dumped rubbish, which included plastic, paper, wood and general household waste, and traced it back to the original owners, who revealed that they had asked Allsop to dispose of it for them.

However, the court heard that Allsop was refused entry to the local official waste recycling site and then proceeded to dump the rubbish on a ‘very beautiful site,’ the prosecution said.

In interview, Allsop said he knew that dumping it where he did was wrong, but added that not all the waste found at the site was dumped by him, however it was later identified by its previous owners as being that removed by Allsop, the court was told.

Defending Allsop, John Brown said that the defendant worked in partnership with another local man in collecting and disposing of scrap, and on this occasion he obtained the necessary licence to dispose of the waste at the local regulated waste disposal site, but when he arrived there he was refused entry.

Mr Brown said this was because although the vehicle Allsop was using had a single rear axle it had double rear wheels, and was therefore not allowed to dispose of the waste there.

He added: “He then just disposed of it where he thought he could get away with it.

“He didn’t realise until today how serious fly-tipping was.”

Under their sentencing powers for the offence, magistrates can disqualify from driving those responsible for fly-tipping. Mr Brown asked the magistrates not to go down this route however as any disqualification would mean Allsop would be unable to work.

He also urged the magistrates to be lenient in terms of awarding costs, which the prosecution asked for in the sum of £2,361, as the defendant owed other court fines and the prosecution’s travelling expenses should not be included in their costs application.

On returning their sentence, the bench told Allsop that fly-tipping was a serious offence which could attract a prison sentence and very high fines.

However, on the basis that he had obtained a licence to dispose of the waste correctly and it was a one-off incident, they fined Allsop £115 and ordered him to pay a contribution of £800 towards the costs, in addition to a £15 surcharge.