A FLYTIPPER will have to pay £3,000 in fines and compensation after being found guilty of dumping waste on a farmer's field.

Darryl Henry, of Darlington, had denied fly tipping and breaching the Environmental Act, but failed to attend Peterlee Magistrates for trial.

The case was proved in the absence of the 23-year-old defendant and he was fined £1,760 for fly tipping, with no separate penalty for the other offence.

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He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to the farmer, £250 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Darlington Borough Council was alerted to a "large quantity" of bagged household waste, furnishings, toys and construction waste in a farmer's field about a mile east of Sadberge Village, on Darlington Back Lane, on January 9 this year.

Items within the waste revealed evidence relating to several addresses in the Darlington area and as a result of an extensive investigation, Henry was named as the person who had collected the waste from the properties.

As a result of his investigations, the enforcement officer was satisfied that Henry was involved in the unauthorised deposit of waste in the farmer’s field. He hand delivered several letters requesting that Henry attend an interview under caution to explain his actions, but Henry failed to attend.

The court was told the landowner faced a clear up bill of more than £800 and the negative environmental impact on his crop yield due to the land being contaminated with the waste.

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “This case clearly illustrates how important it is for householders to remember that if they pay to have someone take their rubbish away they need to check the person has a license and will dispose of it legally.

“There’s a number of unscrupulous people offering to take rubbish away, often posting ads on social media, and then dumping it in back lanes and in rural areas. That’s exactly what happened in this case – and 90 per cent of the waste involved could have been taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Whessoe Road and disposed of free of charge.

“Our message is clear, depositing waste in this manner is not acceptable and we will take enforcement action.

“The annual cost of street cleaning and clearing up after fly tippers to Darlington tax payers is approximately £1.5m a year. The vast majority of people living in Darlington are responsible and care about the borough, these cases show that we will catch and punish those who persist in this anti-social behaviour.”

Information on the correct means of disposing of all types of waste can be found on the Council’s website www.darlington.gov.uk log on here for details about the Household Waste Recycling Centre (Tip)