Farming News - Kent roofing company convicted of fly-tipping 1.75 tonnes of waste
Kent roofing company convicted of fly-tipping 1.75 tonnes of waste
Ashford Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a man running a roofing company for deliberately dumping 1.75 tonnes of commercial and domestic rubbish in a secluded country lane in an attempt to avoid the cost of disposing of the waste appropriately.
For the fly-tipping offence Daniel Murphy received a 16 month prison sentence suspended for 12 months. For the offence of failing to respond to bail, he received a four week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid community service which, despite the fact that Murphy now works away, must be completed inside 12 months or he faces prison.
Murphy was also ordered to pay Ashford Borough Council £3,744.24, which includes investigation, legal and clean-up costs. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115. He must repay these at the rate of £250 per month.
Murphy had not attended court at an earlier hearing, so an application to prove in absence was made by the council. After hearing the evidence, magistrates decided the case was proved and Murphy was found guilty on both charges.
The magistrates heard that on 12 February 2018 a substantial fly-tip was discovered on the byway section of Iden Lane, off Pivington Lane, a tranquil and beautiful rural area between Pluckley and Egerton. The waste was mainly commercial - broken plastic roofing, drainpipes, roof insulation plus a scooter, mattress, animal hutch, a tyre and general household waste.
Inspection of the waste revealed a name and telephone number which council officers used to track down a roofer in Maidstone named in court as Daniel Murphy. Various letters were sent to him inviting him in for interview, and he eventually attended an interview under caution on 14 May 2018.
He was later asked to attend a further interview and to produce documents and details of waste carriers used. He did not respond and ignored further attempts by Ashford Borough Council to contact him.
In passing sentence at Folkestone Magistrates Court, District Judge Justin Barron said: "This is a serious offence. Mr Murphy deliberately dumped the waste in order to save money, it was done on a commercial basis. The sentence reflects the seriousness of the case."
Cllr Andrew Buchanan, portfolio holder for Environment and Land Management, praised staff working across three departments for their diligence, hard work and professionalism in investigating a complex case and bringing the successful prosecution.
"Fly-tips are an increasing problem for the borough, creating an environmental as well as an economic impact. We have a zero-tolerance attitude towards fly-tipping and this case is our latest successful prosecution.
"Fly-tipping is a scourge of the countryside and we're determined to do all we can to stamp it out. This case demonstrates once again that, where we have sufficient evidence, the council will have no hesitation in pursuing people through the courts," added Cllr Buchanan.