Hampshire fly-tipper is fined £20k after dumping hauls of rubbish

A FLY-TIPPER who dumped tonnes of rubbish, including a haul of old tyres at a country estate, has been forced to pay more than GBP20,000 in costs and fines. Mitchell Cooper was found to have fly-tipped a load of 50 tyres, two TV sets and bags of waste at the Broadlands Estate in Romsey on April 20 last year. Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that his truck had been spotted driving along nearby Spaniards Lane the same day.

Then on May 27, the 35-year-old was stopped on a petrol station in North Baddesley by community police officers. According to Test Valley Borough Council, when Cooper was asked to produce his licence he refused to answer any questions. During a previous incident, the council received a report of a large amount of construction waste blocking a home in Toothill Romsey on December 16, 2019.

The rubbish included bricks, rubble and wooden packaging. Prosecuting the case, the council said Cooper had been contracted to remove waste from a property renovation in Southampton but it was instead dumped in Toothill. Appearing before Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday he was charged with having an unregistered carrier transporting controlled waste in course of business, carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence, handling/controlling/transferring controlled waste without taking reasonable measures, and failing to comply with any requirement imposed by an enforcement notice.

He had previously pleaded guilty. At one point, Cooper exclaimed from the dock: “I didn’t even know I needed a licence.” Defending, Oliver O’Connor told how his client earns “about GBP150 a week doing odd jobs”.

Cooper is said to live at home with his mother in Hillyfields, Nursling and has three children who he is trying to provide for. District Judge Peter Greenfield said that fly-tipping is a scourge across “this part of the country” and that it causes misery. He added: “We [magistrates] have been told to crack down on it and I am going to do that.”

He was ordered to pay a total of GBP23,072.75 in fines and costs.

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