A man who dumped tree cuttings at a city beauty spot has been clobbered with a bill of almost £500 by magistrates.
Stanley Hemmings, of Flintsham Grove, Hanley, left the laurel hedging – which had come from his own garden – at an entrance to Central Forest Park.
The cuttings were discovered by an assistant park keeper on April 20, who reported them to Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s environmental crime unit.
Officers responded quickly and managed to track down Hemmings, aged 75, who admitted to fly-tipping when interviewed under caution by an environmental crime unit officer wearing a body camera.
Hemmings appeared before Stafford Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to a fly-tipping offence, contrary to section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He was ordered to pay £483.50 in fines and costs.
Councillor Terry Follows, the city council’s cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said:
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on fly-tipping and have no hesitation in taking the perpetrators to court when we find sufficient evidence.
“Fly-tipping of this nature can be difficult to trace. However, our environmental crime unit has developed a range of techniques that helps them to find those responsible and make sure they face the consequences of their actions.
“We will use all the powers at our disposal to make sure that it is the criminals, and not the innocent taxpayers, who foot the bill for environmental offences.
“Residents can help the council fight fly-tipping by reporting incidents and information which could help us trace those responsible.”