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Drive-by fly-tipper gets jail

A fly-tipper who was caught on camera dumping building waste from the back of his vehicle without stopping has been given a year-long jail sentence.

On 15 March 2016, a resident’s CCTV camera recorded a Ford Transit tipper truck dropping three tonnes of rubble, plaster and wood in Croham Manor Close, south Croydon.

The unregistered van was seized in Addiscombe on 11 April. Croydon Council put the video on YouTube in an effort to find the culprit, believing the vehicle had been used for fly-tipping elsewhere in the borough.

George Smith was sentenced to a total of 52 weeks in prison for this and three other fly-tipping offences in Croydon when he appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court on 25 January.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment for the Croham Manor Close offence and two others in south Croydon, plus 26 weeks for fly-tipping in Thornton Heath, to be served consecutively.

Two vans, worth £1,500 and £2,000, “used to facilitate criminal behaviour”, have been confiscated.

During the trial, district judge Karen Hammond allowed a bad-character application from the council, which included a previous conviction in October 2016 for fly-tipping in Tandridge.

Smith, who represented himself in court, said that he had not been allowed by the Environment Agency to hold a waste-carrying licence for more than 10 years.

Sentencing Smith, Hammond described his actions as “wanton vandalism” and said: “This is your third set of convictions for offences of this nature. My hope is to deter this type of offending by imposing this custodial sentence.

“This was your business model – to collect waste and dump it without cost to yourself. I’m satisfied that you made a significant income by fly-tipping, enriching yourself to the detriment of households and the community.

“This type of offending causes significant harm and I’m sure there would have been substantial costs in clearing this volume of waste.”

Stuart Collins, deputy leader of council initiative Clean Green Croydon, said: “Smith is a notorious fly-tipper who has repeatedly flouted the law and dumped rubbish and building waste in our streets and public spaces, with total disregard for the people who live here.

“I hope this jail sentence serves as a warning to him and to other would-be enviro-criminals that we will simply not tolerate this behaviour and will not hesitate to exercise our powers to ensure they are brought to justice in court.”

Source: Croydon Council

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