A Middlesbrough resident has been hit hard in the pocket after trusting a load of household waste to a fly-tipper.
The case has sparked renewed warnings that those disposing of bulky items and other waste are responsible for ensuring it is done safely and legally.
Appearing at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Samantha Graham pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act of failing to check for the correct waste carrier licences when allowing someone to remove domestic waste from her property.
The 35-year-old, of Enderby Gardens, Hemlington, paid an unrealistic fee of £30 for the removal of two sofas and other items which were subsequently dumped and set alight on a grassed area on nearby Cass House Road.
CCTV footage showed the unknown man taking the sofas from the property and putting them over a fence, along with a bed base or mattress and several trolley loads of other waste.
When Graham was identified as the owner of the waste, she was initially given the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty notice of £300, reduced to £180 if paid within 10 days, but failed to do so.
Magistrates this week fined her £200 with an £80 victim surcharge, and ordered her to pay a further £200 towards the Council’s clear-up costs.
Councillor Janet Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Community Safety, said: “This case sends out a clear warning that those disposing of waste are responsible for what happens to it.
“This has been a costly lesson for this individual, who could have disposed of the items safely and legally for a fraction of the amount this has cost her.
“Fly-tipping is a selfish and thoughtless crime that blights communities, and I’m delighted the courts are fully behind our efforts to stamp it out.”