Bernard Hall, Cuddington
By Haddenham Webteam - 24th April 2014 8:00am
If you share the revulsion felt by your website editor whenever he sees or hears about the utterly selfish actions of fly tippers, then you will share his delight in learning about the successful conviction of such individuals.
We're not allowed to state that Michael O'Neill was a "fly tipper" in any direct sense, so we will allow you to form your own opinion on the basis of the following report that we received from Bucks County Council.
Illegally dumped rubbish has landed Michael O'Neill (46) with £2,146 to pay.
Michael O'Neill, of Russell Drive, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, was found guilty at a trial at Wycombe Magistrates Court last week (16th April) to an offence of failing in his duty of care as a householder regarding waste dumped near Aylesbury in May 2013. O'Neill did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence.
The court heard that on 7 May 2013, waste from a kitchen refit was found dumped off Snake Lane, Quainton, blocking the access to a farmer's field. The farmer found a label on a worktop cut-out for a new kitchen sink within the dumped waste. He passed the full details to the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire.
The waste was examined and photographed by an investigator from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, who found other traceable items. The waste was traced to O'Neill who was interviewed at Bedford Police Station regarding the dumping.
The court heard that O'Neill denied dumping the waste himself. He recognised the waste as having come from his kitchen refit at home, stating that a 'man with van' had taken the waste away. O'Neill said that the only item which had been taken away but which could not be seen on the photographs was the old steel kitchen sink. He was unable to account for the fact that he saw the 'man with van' had other waste in his vehicle but only O'Neill's was found dumped. He was similarly unable to explain why scrap metal of value had been dumped, nor the distance between the pick-up and dumping locations, nor the fact that he himself had been working in Aylesbury that week and had driven there in his own van. Mr O'Neill did admit that he had not checked the man's credentials, did not know if he was a registered waste carrier and was unable to tell investigators who the waste carrier was, nor to give the vehicle registration number. He therefore admitted failing in his duty of care (as a householder) regarding the waste.
The Magistrates fined O'Neill £400 and ordered him to pay clean-up and prosecution costs of £1,581.48. A victim surcharge of £40 was also levied, and O'Neill was ordered to pay £125 in compensation to the farmer who had to organise the clean-up of the waste which had been dumped on privately owned land. O'Neill therefore has a total to pay of £2,146.48.
The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire.
The Waste Partnership launched the 'Illegal Dumping Costs' campaign in October 2003 to combat illegal dumping and waste management offences in Buckinghamshire. Since then, the Partnership has secured 419 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences.
On average, there is at least one conviction per week for illegal dumping offences in Buckinghamshire. This has resulted in a halving of reported incidents and a saving of over £1 million for residents.
Report fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire by calling 0845 330 1856 or report it online at www.buckscc.gov.uk/fly