Published on 18th January 2023
Two Cheltenham residents pleaded guilty to fly tipping. Prosecutions result in £820 and £914 fines. Sixth successful prosecution by the council.
Following an investigation by the council’s neighbourhood team, Rachael Woodbridge of Marsland Road, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty on 31 October at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court, to dumping five black sacks and a large two seater sofa on Marsland Road.
The rubbish was found during a routine patrol by council officers on 24 June 2021. The defendant disputed the sofa belonged to her but accepted that the black sacks contained her waste.
The investigation traced the waste back to Miss Woodbridge and a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) was issued to her. Miss Woodbridge failed to pay the notice of £250 and so the matter was brought before the magistrates’ court.
The court found that Miss Woodbridge had behaved recklessly and gave her a reduced fine of £320 for her guilty plea and awarded Cheltenham Borough Council costs of £500, resulting in a total fine of £820.
A second local woman, Claire Godwin of Ennerdale Road, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty on 28 November 2022, to fly tipping multiple black refuse sacks and other household items on a public path by a green area on Ennerdale Road, owned by Cheltenham Borough Homes.
The waste was found by a tenancy management officer who passed the information to the council’s neighbourhood team to investigate.
Ms Godwin was issued with a fixed penalty notice for failing to dispose of household waste in a responsible manner, but denied fly tipping at a previous hearing, later pleading guilty by letter. This guilty plea was accepted by the magistrates who issued her with a fine of £495, and ordered her to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and costs of £369.
The court issued a stern warning when passing sentence, saying: “Tell everyone please don’t dump waste – there are consequences to tax payers - think logically and don’t do it.”
Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: “Fly tipping causes misery to local people and puts public health and wildlife at risk.
‘’I’m delighted that in these cases the court even told the offenders to pay all the council’s costs.
“Fixed Penalty Notices are a swift and transparent way to prevent and deter such criminal fly tipping and are usually effective as an alternative to prosecution. But when fixed penalties aren’t paid, we will prosecute and seek to recover costs of the investigation and waste removal so that this doesn’t fall to the tax payers of Cheltenham.”
This is the sixth successful prosecution by the council for fly tipping offences over the past 12 months.
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