Fly tip dumped in Exmouth

Prosecution brought by council’s Environmental Health team

An Exmouth woman has been fined more than £1,400 for fly tipping in a successful prosecution brought by Environmental Health Officers from East Devon District Council.

Jill O'Donnell who was living at Waverley Road, Exmouth when the offence took place pleaded guilty and was fined £1,451. She was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £145. Exeter Magistrates reduced her fine by 10% after taking her circumstances to pay into account.

The magistrates were told that Ms O'Donnell dumped more than 20 bags of domestic waste and some old carpets in the service lane behind her home during the summer of last year. East Devon District Council received complaints from residents about the build-up of waste in her garden and staff from the council’s Environmental Health and Streetscene teams offered advice and assistance to Ms O'Donnell on how she should deal with it.

Magistrates heard that she ignored the advice and dumped the waste instead. She was issued with a fixed penalty ticket but it was not paid and prosecution proceedings were brought.

The Chairman of the Magistrates told the defendant:

It is clear that council officers bent over backwards to try to help you but you did not accept it. This was a deliberate act which we regard as a serious offence.

In her defence, the court was told that the defendant who now lives at Old Bystock Drive, Exmouth, had undergone a hip operation in February and had mobility problems. She had sought help from the council about the waste issue but she had misunderstood the consequences of placing her waste on the highway.

Following the hearing, Councillor Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the Environment, said:

The council will pursue any reports of fly tipping and littering where the offender can be identified, and fixed penalty notices will be issued. For residents, there are plenty of opportunities to do the right thing with their waste and there is no excuse for not using the recycling and waste management facilities readily available.

The council is reminding residents and businesses that they have a duty of care regarding their waste and that they will issue fixed penalties for fly tipping domestic and commercial waste, and for littering. Anyone using a contractor must obtain full name, address and vehicle details and a written receipt because they could end up being liable if a third party fly tips their waste.