Man fined after reporting dumped rubbish - that turned out to be his

A Crewe man who complained to Cheshire East Council about rubbish dumped in an alleyway has been prosecuted for fly-tipping, after the waste was found to belong to him.

Oliver Bailey, 18, of Ruskin Road, appeared at South Cheshire Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday May 9), and admitted an offence of fly-tipping.

He was ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £544.

A complaint was made to the authority on November 1 last year by a resident of West Street, who said boxes and furniture had been fly-tipped in the alleyway. They also said the rubbish contained a letter with an address written on it.

At 10.45am that same day, a community enforcement officer from the council visited the site and took several photographs of the waste and searched for evidence.

As he was doing that, a man approached him and said that he was the one who had made the complaint and gave his name as Oliver Bailey.

The officer then explained that the pile of rubbish contained a number of cardboard boxes addressed to a Mr Oliver Bailey of Armistead Way, Cranage, and that inside one of the boxes was a letter also addressed to Oliver Bailey, this time with an address on it of West Street, Crewe.

Bailey denied putting the rubbish out and said he didn’t know how it had got there.

Subsequent checks on the council’s complaints database determined that Bailey had reported the incident as fly-tipping, but not until 11.01am on November 1 – a significant time after the enforcement officer had arrived at the alleyway.

He was requested to attend an interview with the enforcement officer on two occasions but did not attend either. A file for prosecution was therefore submitted.

It is the first prosecution since changes made within Cheshire East Council’s community enforcement team introduced minimum investigative standards for fly-tipping offences.

Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for communities and health, said: “This resident had attempted to cover his tracks by reporting the incident to the council after our enforcement officer had spoken to him.

“However, the evidence in this case was strong and credible and checks linked the offender to the addresses which were clearly marked on the waste.

“Fly-tipping is disgusting and I hope this prosecution reinforces our message that we will take the appropriate action against those who blight the lives of other residents by dumping waste.

“I also encourage residents to continue reporting incidents directly to us so that we can investigate.”

Last month the council launched its ‘No Rubbish Excuses’ campaign as part of efforts to tackle fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling and encourage more residents to take pride in their towns and villages.

There have been 78 convictions for littering offences since October last year, which have all been dealt with at South Cheshire Magistrates Court, Crewe.

One repeat offender, from Crewe, who was issued with two Fixed Penalty Notices for littering within a few weeks of each other, has been ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £620.

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