A man rang up the local police to demand that they return his van – which had been used to fly-tip rubbish at a beauty spot.
Sean Fagan pleaded guilty to act at Chester Magistrates’ Court on July 27 this year. It was heard that the 29-year-old had lent his van out to a friend, who did the fly-tipping.
As Fagan was the registered keeper of the vehicle, under the law he is treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited, even if he knew nothing about it. According to Liverpool Live officers from the rural crime team were first called to reports of fly-tipping on Frodsham marshes in Cheshire.
On arrival, the van was found abandoned, with the keys in the ignition along with fresh tyre tracks. A scrap washing machine was found inside the vehicle along with rubbish dumped nearby in a drainage ditch on Weaver Lane.
Witnesses claimed that three men fled the scene on foot. Just as they began to leave the scene, officers were made aware of a call from Fagan to 101 who was demanding to know where his vehicle was and that it be returned. Police seized the van from the scene.
Fagan claimed he had lent his white Ford Transit van to a friend and, following further investigation, he was summonsed to court for the fly-tipping offence. This week, the van was crushed following a deprivation order by the courts.
The courts had ordered the van to be confiscated while Fagan was handed a fine of £180 and told to pay court costs of £490 and a £34 victim surcharge.
The case came about following a joint investigation between Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire West and Chester Council. Police Constable Peter Moss, of Cheshire’s Rural Crime Team, said: “This is a great result for Cheshire Constabulary and local partners in the fight against fly-tipping.
“Fly-tipping is a crime that can affect everyone, not only is the dumping of illegal waste an eyesore but it can be health hazard too, costing thousands in tax-payers money to clean up. If fly-tipping isn’t dealt with quickly, I can lead to an increase in littering in areas – that is why we need the support from local residents and communities to ensure that you use legitimate removal companies.
“If you don’t, what started off as low-cost waste removal could end up in a large fine if the waste is tracked back to you – even if you didn’t dump it.”