A fly-tipper was given a suspended prison sentence, 100 hours of unpaid work, a driving ban and ordered to pay £1,000 costs thanks to a council environmental health team’s persistent detective work.
Reece Presley, of Esther Varney Place in Newark, pleaded guilty to all charges when he appeared at the District Judges Court sitting in Lincoln.
In a prosecution brought by North Kesteven District Council, the court was told that on two occasions Presley had collected waste in the Newark area offering ‘man with a van services’ despite not having a carrier’s licence – and then dumping the waste in woodland.
Investigating officer Andrew Beaver, an environmental crime officer in North Kesteven’s EH team, said: “There were two fly-tips discovered around the same time in woodland known as Stapleford Woods, which is an area for fly tipping. One of the fly-tips was at a particular hotspot and adjacent to a deployed North Kesteven CCTV camera.”
The team searched the rubbish and found evidence that it came from two separate householders in an adjacent town.
Beaver added: “Enquiries with both householders revealed they had put posts up on Facebook looking for someone to clear waste they had accumulated. Both replies, offering to collect the waste for payment, were from a person connected to Presley.”
Beaver obtained statements from the householders, as well as copies of Facebook messenger conversations, which were used as evidence. Facebook searches also revealed Presley was offering waste collections. A check of the deployed CCTV identified a van linked to Presley fly-tipping the waste, and a drive-by of Presley’s address revealed the van parked on his driveway.
There was a delay in getting the case to court because of COVID-19 issues. Beaver said: “Presley then failed to appear and a warrant was issued. He had also moved from his previous rented property and council tax did not have a new address for him.” However, eventually he was traced using police intelligence and information from the previous landlord and the National Anti Fraud Network intelligence system.
Beaver added: “Dealing with ‘man with a van’ fly-tippers can be a challenge. They are often evasive and will not cooperate with investigations. [The key was to] use the police (who usually are aware of the same people) to trace, locate and assist with enquiries.”