Magistrates deliver guilty verdict in fly-tipping case

Fly tipping left in Chapel Passage by Christopher Smith.
Fly tipping left in Chapel Passage by Christopher Smith.

A BOSTON man who abandoned a pile of rubbish outside flats in the town has been found guilty of fly-tipping.

Christoper Smith, of Franklin Close, Boston, denied dumping waste items including a soiled mattress, an exercise bike and a vacuum cleaner outside flats in Chapel Passage before driving off last July.

The 40-year-old claimed he delivered the items as a favour to a friend who lived in the Boston Mayflower properties, but magistrates said his defence lacked credibility and found him guilty at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Ruksana Munir, prosecuting, told the court a resident saw Smith removing rubbish from his truck in the courtyard, off High Street, and then drove off. He took the registration number and reported him.

She added that under legislation, the person in control of a vehicle from which waste is deposited is considered to have knowingly deposited that waste.

The items also included a child’s scooter with its wheels missing, building materials and two doors.

Kath Mountain, Boston Borough Council’s environmental enforcement officer, told the court: “I would classify the items as waste.”

But Smith said the items belonged to his friend Nathan Minto, and he left them there believing that Mr Minto would put them away when he left.

Smith told the court he was taking metal to the scrapyard and was going to have a screw removed from his tyre when Mr Minto asked him to help transport some items home for him. But when they got to the flat, Mr Minto took too long collecting his keys, so Smith left the items for him to organise by himself and went to the garage.

Father-of-one Smith, who is unemployed, said: “As far as I knew it was going straight in the shed. I believed they were his own belongings. I wouldn’t have let my dog sleep on the mattress, but as far as he was concerned that mattress was worth £300.”

Neither the defence or the prosecution had managed to get in touch with Mr Minto.

Liz Harte, defending, told magistrates: “What one person may consider fit only for the scrap heap may not be destined there.

“Mr Smith, far from wantonly fly-tipping, was very likely to have been delivering not controlled waste at the request of another person to that person’s address on the clear understanding that the other person was going to take it into his address.”

Magistrates sentenced Smith to a community order with 250 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £250 clear up fees.

After the case the council’s portfolio holder for waste services, Coun Michael Brookes, said: “We are absolutely determined to catch the irresponsible people who spoil our surroundings by illegally dumping rubbish and will follow up every lead.”