Action will continue to be taken against those who fly-tip in our community.
That’s the message from West Norfolk Council following the authority’s first prosecution as a result of ongoing work in the North End area of Lynn.
Ian Devereux, cabinet member for environment, said: “I hope this sends a strong message to the local community that we will take appropriate action against those who fly-tip – whether that be fixed penalty notices or prosecution.”
His words came after a 43-year-old man from Lynn was ordered to pay thousands of pounds for the part he played in a mattress being dumped in Walker Street – a residential area of the town.
Benjamin Zadworny, of King’s Green, admitted being responsible for a vehicle from which waste was dumped at a hearing at Lynn’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
The court heard that, after spotting a mattress left at Walker Street on CCTV, a West Norfolk Council officer saw a man getting out of a white van and depositing the item before driving away at about 7.50pm on January 31.
Noel Doran, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said the van was seen a short time afterwards on CCTV when it was discovered that it was owned by the defendant.
Mr Doran said Zadworny was invited to attend an interview under caution, where he confirmed he was the owner of the van but denied it was he who dumped the mattress.
The court was told that Zadworny claimed he was doing a favour for a friend and had lent him the van as he was moving to a new address.
Mr Doran said the defendant provided information about his friend, but despite “extensive enquiries”, no trace of him was found.
“As a result of that, he was invited back to interview under caution,” Mr Doran said.
He said Zadworny was not able to provide more information but further denied it was him on the CCTV.
Mr Doran said that the waste was deposited on public land, and that the offence amounted to anti-social behaviour.
The mattress was removed, at a cost of around £200 to the council – a small portion of the £60,000 fly-tipping costs the authority every year.
Alison Muir, mitigating, said her client had purchased the van in early January and his friend asked to borrow it.
She said: “When his vehicle was identified, he realised what his friend had done.”
Zadworny, who has two children, is “very proud of his family” but is disappointed that this will affect his previous good character, she added.
“He has been trying to bring his children up in the right way but he is going to have a conviction against his name,” Miss Muir said.
She said he has spoken with his friend, who is not prepared to come back from Lithuania to face this matter, effectively leaving him “in the lurch”.
“He didn’t loan his friend the van for that purpose, he loaned it for him to move furniture, that was all, but that doesn’t mean he has a defence as he was ‘in control’ of the vehicle.
“Whatever happens he is going to lose his good character and that hurts him more than anything else.”
Zadworny was ordered to pay £1,775 in costs, a £400 fine, £200 for the removal of the mattress, and a surcharge of £40.
While passing sentence, magistrates told him: “We did consider removing your vehicle and disposing of it, but because it’s your living we are going to leave you with it.
“Any future offences of this nature may mean it is confiscated.”
Council officials say they hope this prosection sends a message to the community.
Ian Devereux, cabinet member for environment, said the mattress could have been disposed of using the council-provided services, such as the borough council’s bulky waste collection scheme, or Norfolk County Council’s household waste recycling centre.
“By trying to avoid a small fee for disposal, Mr Zadworny has ended up with a bill of just under £2,500,” he said.
“I hope this sends a strong message to the community that we will take appropriate action against those who fly-tip – whether that be fixed penalty notices or prosecution.
“Local waste services are available and there really is no excuse for fly-tipping.”