A 20-YEAR-OLD found with a tipper truck loaded with rubbish containing beer cans, takeaway cartons and animal faeces claimed it belonged to his grandmother.

Matthew Card was pulled over by police following a report of a suspected fly-tipping in the Binchester Roman Fort area, near Bishop Auckland.

A neighbourhood warden, who had spotted the defendant’s vehicle at 5.58pm, on September 4, questioned him about the origins of the rubbish.

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Card, of Redworth Road, Shildon, claimed it was garden waste which had belonged to his “nana” and described it as being mostly tree and grass cuttings.

However, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday (Wednesday) heard when the warden challenged the defendant’s claim and told him the vehicle would be seized, Card got in the van and drove off.

Kamila Coulson-Patel, prosecuting on behalf of Durham County Council, said: “The police and neighbourhood warden carried out a pursuit during which he (Card) went through traffic lights showing a red signal.”

Officers eventually stopped the defendant and seized the vehicle for investigation.

The court heard 20 bags were searched and were found to contain household waste including beer cans, takeaway cartons, animal faeces, bedding from rabbits or rodents and deteriorated food waste.

Among the rubbish were documents, two of which had a Bishop Auckland address listed.

Magistrates were told the address was visited where a man told investigating officers he had paid £20 to a man who had knocked on his door and offered to take the rubbish.

With no licence to carry waste at the time of the offence, the defendant was charged with being an unregistered carrier of controlled waste with the view to making a profit, which he pleaded guilty to on November 1.

Peter Hamill, mitigating, said his client, now a factory worker in Sunderland, hoped to set up a waste control business and initially acted through “ignorance and a lack of education” about the law.

He added Card accepted he acted “stupidly and panicked” when he was stopped by police.

Chairman of the bench Lorraine Overton said: “We are all sufficiently educated in our environment to know the problems caused by people who insist on fly-tipping.

"Shame on you for trying to make money out of rubbish which heaven only knows what you would have done with.”

Card was fined £83 and ordered to pay £200 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.