A LANDSCAPE gardener who dumped rubble and branches in a farmer’s field has been fined £4,750 by magistrates.
A member of the public spotted an NAH Services van driving into the field off Lawford Heath Lane on August 19 last year.
When the van drove off, a pair of large builders’ bags full of rubble and branches were left behind.
The incident was reported to Rugby Borough Council, which traced the van to its owner – Nigel Holland, of Cambridge Street-based NAH Services.
The team contacted Mr Holland but he ignored notices which legally obliged him to co-operate with the investigation – failing to attend an interview at the Town Hall and failing to produce his waste carrier licence and waste transfer notes.
Officers subsequently discovered Holland did not have a waste carrier licence at the time of the incident.
After the council decided to prosecute, Holland failed to attend court on January 19 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The 32-year-old surrendered to the warrant on April 21, when he pleaded guilty to failing to comply with council notices requesting information and failing to produce waste transfer notes.
But he pleaded not guilty to fly-tipping, failing to hold a waste carrier licence and failing to produce a waste carrier licence.
When the case went to trial at Warwickshire Justice Centre, Nuneaton, on Monday June 29, Holland did not attend court.
Magistrates heard the case in his absence and, based on the evidence of the witness and the council’s investigation, found Holland guilty of the three charges he had denied.
He was fined £3,000 for fly-tipping and a total of £1,750 for the other four offences.
He was also ordered to pay £1,520 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Speaking after the hearing, Rugby Borough Council’s environment spokeswoman Coun Lisa Parker said: “We operate a zero-tolerance policy on fly-tipping, which damages our environment, costs taxpayers thousands of pounds a year and hits legitimate waste disposal businesses in the pocket.
“We investigate all incidents of fly-tipping in the borough and prosecute when we find sufficient evidence.
“In this case a member of the public provided the vital evidence which helped us successfully prosecute.
“I’d urge all residents to support the fight against fly-tipping by reporting incidents and giving us any information which can help us catch the culprits.”
To report fly-tipping, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01788) 533857.