‘Revenge fly tipping’ of an ex-wife’s property back-fired, costing a man just shy of £2,500 after North Kesteven District Council prosecuted him for his actions.
On two occasions in June 2014, Michael Peter Hutchinson, 72, most recently living at Church Lane, Croft, Skegness, dumped items on the front garden of his ex-wife’s house in Jubilee Close, Martin.
Items included bedding, furniture, glass lamps and a mirror, all of which had been damaged by the disgruntled ex-husband using green paint and solvent.
The ex-wife recognised them as coming from the house they had shared at Station Road, Burgh le Marsh.
After a lengthy investigation, spanning almost 18 months, in which Hutchinson gave a string of different addresses, officers were finally able to call Hutchinson to Lincoln Magistrates Court on two counts of fly tipping.
Since July 2014 officers’ attempts to liaise with him had failed, due to false addresses being given on several occasions. They were unable to formally interview him and nor did he respond to a list of questions under caution – leading to the council’s decision to move forward with enough evidence to prosecute for depositing waste without a Waste Management Licence.
Even in court Hutchinson could not see how his actions could be classed as fly-tipping, insisting that he was simply ‘returning’ the items to his ex-wife. But given that they were unwanted by him, were delivered in the early hours of the morning and damaged, the court said they could be regarded as waste – and therefore he had actually committed the offence of fly tipping, for depositing waste on any land without a waste management license, contrary to section 33(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Despite pleading not guilty at an initial hearing, Hutchinson changed his plea before facing trial on Friday, January 15, admitting two counts of fly-tipping.
He was fined £625, ordered to pay costs of £1,229.88, a victim surcharge of £63 and compensation to Mrs Hutchinson of £400, totalling £2,317.88.
Speaking after the hearing, Coun Richard Wright, NKDC Executive Board member with responsibility for Environmental Health said: “The district council has never tolerated fly tipping, and although Hutchinson considered himself to be returning the items, he was in fact committing an offence. We take this very seriously, and will prosecute anyone who is caught doing so.
“We take pride in our district and its beautiful countryside and seek to safeguard its communities. We want those living here, and visiting here to be able to appreciate its beauty – not have to view the blight a few people put up on it,” he said.
Last year, North Kesteven District Council responded to almost 1,000 incidents of reported fly-tipping, spending nearly £75,000 on its investigation and removal annually. If you see any, report it at: www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/reportflytipping
On the same day at Lincoln Magistrates Court, another two cases of fly-tipping were brought before Lincoln Magistrates. David Cant, 33, of Hamilton Road, Grantham, was fined and charged a total of £1,744 for dumping a large amount of garden and building waste on a country lane near Sleaford after charging a householder £80 to take it away.
In another case, Martin Godwin, 41, of East Drive, Castlefields, Tattershall was required to pay £2,395 after dumping household waste, including a child’s seat, at Blankney. He admitted his guilt at an early stage.