Shotton Collliery fly tipper ordered to forfeit £2,500 van

A man who was caught on camera fly-tipping has been stripped of his vehicle and left hundreds of pounds worse off.

Paul Davies, 43, of Shotton Colliery, also finds himself with a criminal record following the successful prosecution by Durham County Council.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court last Wednesday heard how a neighbourhood warden from the council was on patrol in the Black Lane area of Wheatley Hill, a well-known fly-tipping hotspot where CCTV has been deployed and which authority staff monitor, on 1 October.

The warden noticed wooden boards had been fly-tipped at a spot where waste had already been dumped.

The warden later viewed footage from the CCTV which showed a red Ford Transit van at the scene on the afternoon of 28 September.

The footage showed the driver of the vehicle get out and make his way to the rear of the van. Waste can then be seen being thrown to the ground from the rear of the vehicle.

The man ultimately got back into the van and drove off.

A check was carried out of the vehicle’s registration number and this revealed it to be insured by Davies, of Ashbrooke Estate.

The warden visited Davies’ home where he saw the vehicle.

The council worker later returned to the property where he interviewed the defendant.

Davies confirmed he was the man in the footage and claimed the landowner had given him permission to tip the waste. However he was informed the landowner had already provided a statement confirming that no such permission had been given. 

Following the interview, the warden seized the van with a view to applying for it to be forfeited – to prevent it being used for fly-tipping again.

In court, Davies pleaded guilty to one charge of illegally dumping controlled waste.

His solicitor explained how the defendant took the waste to a yard but found it to be closed so left it at the entrance to the property for an associate to collect.

The court heard Davies had added to items already at the site but had not added to the harm caused as there was waste already present.

Magistrates fined him £320 and ordered him to pay £230 costs and a victim surcharge of £32, a total of £582.

The court also granted the council’s application in respect of the vehicle.

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and fly-tipping is a lazy act which detracts from its appearance.

“There really is no excuse for it as there are so many ways to get rid of your rubbish legitimately, be that atone of our household waste recycling centres or the bulky waste collections we operate for a small fee.

“Mr Davies now finds himself short of a £2,500 van and more than £500 worse off and we hope the position he finds himself in will act as a warning to anyone else who might be tempted to fly-tip in County Durham.”