Two men fined in court for separate waste offences

Fly-tipped waste
Fly-tipped waste

A Gateshead “Facebook fly-tipper” will have to pay out more than £2,300 after being convicted of three waste offences.  

Keith Thornton, the owner of KT Gardening & Removal Services, pleaded not guilty to two charges of depositing-controlled waste on land without a permit, and one charge of illegally transporting controlled waste.  

Following a trial at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Thursday (December 6), Thornton was convicted of all three charges and a destruction order was made on his seized Ford Transit van following a joint investigation between Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.  

The charges were brought against Thornton, 33, of Tynemouth Road, Jarrow, following a report of fly-tipping on 10 May 2018 on Whitehouse Road in Scotswood. The following day, a further report was made to Gateshead Council regarding a fly-tip in rural Cranberry Bog Road in Birtley. Evidence was found in the waste relating to an address in Gateshead where Thornton had previously collected waste. 

The waste discovered contained plastic bags, a double bed base, mattress, carpets, laminated flooring, a mop bucket and a kitchen bin among other goods. Customers from Gateshead had approached Thornton via Facebook and a price of £60.00 was paid to the driver of the vehicle upon collection. 

In court, he was fined £720 for the first offence but given no separate penalties for the other convictions.  He was also ordered to pay a £72 victim surcharge and costs of £1,600.92. 

Another man was also fined on Thursday having pleaded guilty to three offences relating to commercial waste disposal. 

Richard Bennett, 57, of Rosedale Court, Newcastle, was brought before the court after a member of the public in Byker saw waste from a van being deposited in a communal residential bin in November last year. An investigation found the waste had come from a business based at Coquet Street. 

Newcastle City Council’s environmental protection officers discovered the business had approached a waste carrier they had come across online called R and D Rubbish and Waste Services and paid Bennett £50 to deal with their waste. 

On March 22 this year, Bennett attended an interview under caution where he denied knowledge of the business before walking out of the interview. 

But at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court this week he entered guilty pleas. He was fined £320 for the illegal depositing of waste but received no further penalty for two other charges of engaging in commercial practice which was misleading and illegally transporting controlled waste. 

He was also ordered to pay £276.38 in costs. 

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Environment, said: “Due to diligent members of the public and thorough investigative work by our staff, these two individuals have been shown that waste crime will not be tolerated. 

“The sentences handed out by the court demonstrates once again that people that flout the regulations will be hit hard and I hope the fines deter others from illegally dumping waste. 

“I would remind people that they must ensure anyone who takes their waste is authorised by the Environment Agency to do so. Do not use social media to find people to take waste away.”