Man fined for dumping waste at nature reserve

The the dumped waste at Limekiln Gill in Horden.
The the dumped waste at Limekiln Gill in Horden.

A man who was caught on camera fly-tipping at a national nature reserve has been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds and carry out unpaid work.

Alan Christopher Shilling, from Hazel Crescent, Easington Colliery, has been prosecuted by Durham County Council as part of its Operation Stop It crackdown on the illegal dumping of waste.

A still from footage captured by a CCTV camera left at the scene to capture video evidence of any fly-tipping.

A still from footage captured by a CCTV camera left at the scene to capture video evidence of any fly-tipping.

At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Shilling, 26, pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste otherwise than in accordance with an environmental permit, and also transporting it without being a registered carrier.

The court was told how on September 15 last year, a council warden visited Limekiln Gill at Horden, to check for fly-tipping.

The site is also part of the Durham Coastal Special Area of Conservation but has been regularly hit by illegal dumping of waste.

The warden discovered household waste including had been dumped and checked the footage of a CCTV camera at the scene to capture evidence of fly-tipping.

This showed a van parking and two men getting out and dumping the waste.

Checks were carried out which showed Shilling was insured to drive the vehicle and gave his home address. The defendant was contacted and interviewed.

He was reluctant to provide details of the second man so was served with a legal notice compelling him to do so.

While the notice was complied with, the details provided did not lead the council to the second man. Shilling confirmed the waste had come from a yard clearance.

The defendant said he had been out of work at the time and had received a Facebook message from a friend asking if he wanted to help move the waste.

Shilling acknowledged his actions had been wrong. Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order with 40 hours unpaid work and Shilling was ordered to pay costs to the council of £429.88.

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We hope this prosecution shows we will take the strongest possible action to protect our environment and that the sentence imposed will act as a deterrent to this defendant and anyone else who might think fly-tipping is an easy way to dispose of waste.”