A man has been fined more than £1,000 after pleading guilty to fly tipping and burning waste in a village on the Broads.

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Bryan Gibson, 59, admitted piling rubbish - including cardboard boxes, sofas and a mattress - on land at Potter Heigham and then burning it after carrying out building work for a friend in Norwich.

He also pleaded guilty to transporting rubbish when he was not a registered carrier.

Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Gibson, a grandfather of five, had permission from the land owner to drop and burn the rubbish in Decoy Road but there was no permit in place to allow such activity.

Environmental health officers from North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) visited the site in March and April this year, after receiving an anonymous phone call.

They found a “large heap of waste” and on a second inspection discovered a “large bonfire pile” topped with material that had previously been burnt.

Cara Jordon, prosecuting for NNDC, said among the ashes officers had found a mattress, sofa springs, plastics, tins and aerosol containers, which were “not appropriate to burn”, gave rise to pollution and could harm human health.

She added: “Mr Gibson had come to an arrangement with the (land) owner to burn items on that piece of land, however a check was made with the Environment Agency and found there was no permit in place to deposit or burn waste at this location.”

The court heard Gibson, a painter and decorator from Reynolds Lane, Potter Heigham, had branched out to do odd jobs for friends as the recession had bit.

During the hearing today (Friday) magistrates were told he had not been able to use a skip during the bathroom renovation at a block of flats in Norwich, which he had done on a previous job, and he had admitted to building and lighting the bonfire of waste in police interview.

Peter Spary, defending Gibson, said his client was a man of good character and was “perhaps rather ignorant of the law”.

He added: “He didn’t do it very often and was going to get rid of the ash and dispose of it.

“He wasn’t dropping things in laybys.

“He’s going to lose his good character status, which is something that’s upset him.”

Mr Spary asked magistrates to consider the offence at the “very bottom of the scale” as the damage was “relatively minor”.

Chairman of the bench David Fairhurst told Gibson there was “no reason” for him to dump the rubbish and burn it as most of the waste was household items.

He ordered Gibson to pay £1,050 in fines and £1,041 costs.

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