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Camera phone catches fly-tipper in the act

A man caught fly-tipping on Christmas Eve 2006 by a passer by with a mobile phone camera has been prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council. The council brought the case on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire against Balachandran Ravichandran for dumping waste in Beaconfield. Ravichandran was given a community punishment order of 40 hours of unpaid work on October 3 2007 by Wycombe Magistrates. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1071.15. The witness was able to make a note of the vehicles registration and the company details, as advertised on the side of the van. She also took photos of the dumpers van and the waste on her mobile phone. As the keeper of the van, Ravichandran was interviewed by enforcement officers from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. He admitted to dumping the waste but stated that he had been under pressure with the Christmas rush on his business. Magistrates recognised that he had co-operated fully with the investigation and had made an early guilty plea for which they reduced the initial sentence from 60 hours. South Bucks District Council Cabinet Member for Environment Bill Lidgate said: "This is another example of the illegal dumper being bought to justice in Buckinghamshire. However, offenders can be fined up to £50,000 and I urge the magistrates to impose stronger penalties to continue deterring people from fly-tipping in our county. It is a pity that magistrates feel that admitting to the crime warrants a more lenient sentence. This anti-social activity is a blight on our countryside and a drain on everyone's pocket." Image: Items fly-tipped by Balachandran Ravichandran

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