Repeat fly-tipper handed suspended prison sentence

Fly-tipper caught by covert camera in Coles Lane

We have successfully prosecuted a repeat fly-tipper who dumped rubbish on a country lane in Dacorum.

Martyn Woodbridge, of Poynters Road, Luton, was sentenced on Thursday 17 November after a two-day trial in August where he was found guilty on two counts of fly-tipping. He was charged with two incidents of the unauthorised deposit of controlled waste between 27 and 29 March 2021

Woodbridge was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment (suspended for 12 months), ordered to attend 15 days of rehab activity and pay a contribution toward prosecutions costs of £900 and compensation of £600 for clear-up costs.

At the trial, the court heard how on Tuesday 30 March 2021, one of our Environmental Enforcement Officers attended Coles Lane, Markyate, to investigate a report of fly-tipping. A large pile of waste had been dumped by the roadside. Being a known hot spot for illegal dumping of waste, we had installed covert cameras in the area to record these offences. A review of footage showed that on Saturday 27 March 2021 a white flat-bed truck had arrived carrying waste, comprising mainly of old vehicle parts. This waste was unloaded by the male driver. The same vehicle was then seen to return on Monday 29 March 2021 and dump a similar amount of waste at the same location. Further enquiries made by officers confirmed the vehicle appeared to belong to the defendant who was invited to attend an interview under caution at our offices. He failed to attend or further engage with us during the investigation.

At the trial, Woodbridge entered not guilty pleas to both charges and represented himself. He maintained that his vehicle was a different model to the one used to commit the offences and that the number plate of his vehicle had also been copied and put on a different vehicle by someone else to commit the offences. Upon hearing all the evidence a jury returned unanimous verdicts of guilty on both counts of fly-tipping.

Cllr Julie Banks, our Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “This sentence shows our zero-tolerance approach to environmental crime and in particular fly-tipping. Our Environmental Enforcement Officers work hard to assess and visit every reported incident of fly-tipping in the borough to gather evidence and investigate, where possible, who was responsible for dumping it and or where it has come from.”

The Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group (HFTG) is a multi-agency taskforce including the borough, district and county councils as well as Hertfordshire Constabulary, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Herts Fire and Rescue, the Environment Agency and the National Farmers' Union.

These organisations have come together to improve how Hertfordshire responds to fly-tipping incidents. The HFTG is delivering improvements in enforcement capability across the county, as well as rolling out new technology to assist in identifying and prosecuting fly-tippers.

The HFTG is also behind the award-winning #SCRAPflytipping campaign, which is used across Hertfordshire to help educate residents, and has been provided to other local authorities across the UK (free of charge) to help promote a consistent message. For more information, visit the Hertfordshire County Council website.

  • Dumped waste in Coles Lane