Fitter fined after rubbish was dumped

A kitchen fitter who employed a stranger to take away his trade waste was fined more than £1,500 yesterday because the rubbish ended up being fly-tipped in a Norfolk beauty spot.

A kitchen fitter who employed a stranger to take away his trade waste was fined more than £1,500 yesterday because the rubbish ended up being fly-tipped in a Norfolk beauty spot.

Michael Chapman, 53, of Talbot Square, Norwich, had been renovating a friend's house last October.

But the skip firm he normally used had recently stopped trading.

Simon Nicholls defending said while Chapman was in a pub several people had highly recommended a man, known only as Lee, for the job. He had supposedly started a new business, was reliable and looking for work.

Chapman called Lee and arranged for him to remove the rubbish from the house in Norwich for £80.

Mr Nicholls added “Lee turned up as arranged and took the waste away.

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“My client had no reason not to think the waste had been properly disposed of. “In fact he commented on Lee's van looking very brand new and businesslike.”

In fact the bags of tiles, plaster, empty cardboard boxes, polystyrene packaging cases and kitchen carcass base units had all been dumped in a field in Irstead Road, Irstead.

North Norfolk District Council, which brought the prosecution, was called by concerned residents and set about investigating the matter.

Parminder Ubhi, for the council, said officers had managed to trace Chapman because invoice receipts had been left on the boxes.

They contacted the owners of the address who in turn told them who the builder had been.

She added that the man known as Lee had not been traced and his mobile number was no longer in service.

And in summing up, she said: “This must be seen as a deterrent warning that waste must be disposed of in a responsible and respectful way, socially and environmentally.”

Mr Nicholls said the home owners concerned were lucky they had not been prosecuted because the same duty of care to check the removal of waste was carried out properly also applied to them.

Chapman admitted allowing the waste to be collected by an individual who was not authorised to do so and also failing to get the transfer of waste in writing.

Cromer Magistrates fined him £400 for each offence and awarded the council costs of £769.43.

Mark Whitmore, environmental team leader for the council, said: “The council is very pleased with the outcome of this case and the level of fine imposed.

“We believe that it sends a clear message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated in north Norfolk and that the cost of disposing of waste illegally far outweighs the costs of legitimate disposal methods.”

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