A man from Tunbridge Wells has been prosecuted for three fly tipping offences in Wealden, including dumping waste on the side of the A26 in Eridge.
Ashley Martin, who gave his address as Lakeside, Tunbridge Well, has been sentenced to 26 weeks custody, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work within the next 12 months.
Mr Martin, aged 29, also received a number of fines for the offences relating to a lack of duty of care regarding the waste which he had been paid to dispose of.
The first fly tip took place at Bells Yew Green near Wadhurst in 2012, the others occurred in 2013 at Partridge Lane, Wadhurst and Eridge Road, Eridge. Residents from the Tunbridge Wells area had paid Mr Martin to remove waste from their properties. As he was a registered waste carrier with the Environment Agency at the time, they trusted him to dispose of the waste in a responsible manner. Instead their waste was carelessly dumped in laybys or gateways, sometimes blocking access to livestock. Mr Martin had no regard to the impact of the waste on the environment or the community.
Delays with Mr Martin attending appointments with the Council led to the case not being heard initially until April of this year. At a trial in July, Magistrates found Mr Martin guilty of the three fly tipping offences. He had pleaded guilty to the duty of care offences at the April hearing. Sentencing took place at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on 2nd October 2015.
Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet member with responsibility for Environment Protection, said
Mr Martin has flagrantly abused the trust placed in him by his customers as well as desecrating our beautiful High Weald countryside. We continue to be on the alert for any fly tipping taking place across the District and we will prosecute the wrong doers who commit these crimes through the courts.
He was fined £820 for the first offence, which included compensation for the £320 he made from removing the waste, plus a further fine of £500 for each of the other two offences and an £80 victim surcharge. Full costs of £1,599.28 were awarded to Wealden District Council who brought the prosecution.
To prevent further fly tipping occurring in the countryside, Wealden District Council has the following advice for those with waste to be removed.
- Do not pass any waste from your house, business or building site to a waste carrier unless you have seen their Waste Carrier’s Licence. Take the name of the Waste Carrier which will be on the licence. (The waste carrier’s licence is issued by the Environment Agency and will have their logo on it.)
- Ask for a business card and keep it safe.
- Always insist on a receipt for any waste removed as this, along with the name of the Waste Carrier, will help prove you have disposed of your rubbish in a responsible manner.
- Report any suspicious waste carrying activity in the area to your local council.
If you witness fly tipping, do not approach but take details of any vehicles and persons involved and report this to Wealden’s Street Scene Team on 01892 602735 or firstname.lastname@example.org.