Men who fly-tipped fridge freezer fined
Two men who dumped an American style fridge freezer in Hartley Wespall have been ordered to pay over £4,500 by the courts.
Jay Smith of Eastern Avenue, Gosport, and Richard Stuart formerly of Mayfield Road, Gosport, were prosecuted by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and pleaded guilty to the fly-tipping offence which occurred on Saturday 4 December 2021 at Rotherwick Lane.
The defendants, who were employed by AO Retail Limited at the time, had collected the fridge freezer from a customer, who had taken delivery of a new one a few days earlier. The customer had paid AO Retail Limited an extra fee for the removal of the old one.
On Monday 6 December 2021, the council’s street cleansing team was called to Rotherwick Lane where they found an American style fridge freezer along with cardboard packaging containing the name and address of the AO customer.
The council’s environmental enforcement team contacted the customer, who was able to provide the paperwork from AO Retail Limited confirming the collection and disposal fee. Officers then contacted AO who provided the full contact details of their former employees, who had carried out the collection.
Jay Smith appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Wednesday 23 August 2023 where he pleaded guilty to the offence. He was fined £1,661.00, with costs of £814.80 and a victim surcharge of £166.00.
Richard Stuart did not attend court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested on Thursday 14 September and appeared at Mold Magistrates Court on the same day. He pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £1,133.00, with £814.80 costs and a victim surcharge of £113.00.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services and Housing Cllr Laura James said: “This case sends out a strong message that dumping something is never the easy option as it could end up with a criminal record and a fine. Fly-tipping is totally unacceptable and a real nuisance for local communities. People have a right to take pride in their area without someone else using their streets and green spaces as a dumping ground.
"We will always take action where possible and witnesses can make a big difference. The information from the customer and the company in this case helped with this successful prosecution.
“I would encourage anyone who spots a fly-tipping offence taking place, to contact us with the details.”
Fly-tipping offences carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment at the Crown Court. People can report fly-tipping to the borough council on their website: https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/flytipping