A County Durham builder has been hit with a fine of more than £2,000 after fly-tipping waste containing asbestos near a cemetery. 

Lee Anthony Cooke Stoddart, 32, of Osborne Terrace in Ferryhill, was dealt with at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court following a prosecution by Durham County Council.

The court heard that in October last year, the council received a report of an illegal fly-tip on land near Metal Bridge Cemetery.

The Northern Echo: The waste dumped near the cemetery in Metal BridgeThe waste dumped near the cemetery in Metal Bridge (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

The tip, which was made up of building waste, contained asbestos cement, which meant it had to be removed by a specialist team.

Invoices for Stoddart’s business, KSD Roofing and Home Improvements, were found in the waste and he admitted the offence when interviewed later that month.

The Northern Echo: Asbestos cement found in Stoddart's fly-tipAsbestos cement found in Stoddart's fly-tip (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

Stoddart attended court, where he pleaded guilty to dumping the waste, as well as two environmental offences relating to the use of a van.

He was fined £1,042 and ordered to pay £615 costs and a £246 victim surcharge.

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Following the court case, Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at Durham County Council, said: “Fly-tipping in itself is bad enough but to tip waste containing asbestos is reckless in the extreme and puts the public and our staff at risk.

“We will always take action against anyone dumping waste illegally, and appeal to the public to help us by reporting any incidents or intelligence to us so we can investigate and take the necessary action.

“Details such as the descriptions of the vehicles and people involved are a massive help to us in tracking down those responsible and we always appreciate the public’s assistance in these matters.”