A brazen fly-tipper has narrowly avoided jail over one of the worst offences of its kind ever seen in Middlesbrough.
Darren Mills dumped a staggering 61 tonnes of household and building waste on the former Turford Avenue Social Club site.
The huge pile of rubbish included two tonnes of asbestos sheeting and other hazardous materials such as refrigerators and gas bottles fly-tipped between April and December, 2021.
The garbage - also featuring some 30 mattresses - was left near residential properties and close to a children’s day nursery in Brambles Farm.
Mills was sentenced to nine months behind bars suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday (August 21).
Mills, of Shakespeare Avenue, Middlesbrough, was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards the Council’s costs, and his van has been forfeited to be used in the fight against fly-tipping.
The 45-year-old had admitted three offences of depositing controlled waste, operating a regulated facility without an environmental permit and disposing of waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.
Mills – who traded as Van Man Mills – was also made the subject of a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order which prevents him from carrying any waste not produced by himself in any vehicle under his control, and from advertising or promoting any services relating to the carrying, disposal or management of waste.
Welcoming the sentence, Middlesbrough Council’s Operational Community Safety Manager Dale Metcalfe said: “Fly-tipping is a senseless and needless crime, and on this commercial scale it can blight entire communities.
“The court has clearly recognised that, and this sentence sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate such antisocial and potentially dangerous behaviour.
“Those responsible can rest assured that we will track them down and put them before the courts.”