Two Perry Barr men who ran an unlicensed waste collection service received prison sentences totalling 40 months after admitting to 16 offences at Birmingham Crown Court today (23/08).
Andrew Smithson, aged 31, pleaded guilty to nine fly-tipping offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and three further offences under the Fraud Act 2006, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, and Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. He was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and banned from driving for 51 months.
Joel Ducille, aged 26, pleaded guilty to four fly-tipping offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He received a 10-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work and also handed a rehabilitation order. Both defendants pleaded guilty to offences at earlier hearings.
Birmingham City Council brought the prosecution after two vehicles were reported and observed dumping waste at several sites across the city between 28 May 2015 and 2 December 2015.
The two Ford Transits – a silver 06-plate van, which had noticeable damage to the bodywork, and a 56-plate white van – used fake registration plates on four occasions before going on to sites to dump the rubbish they collected. Smithson is the registered keeper of both vehicles, using his alias Andrew Roberts.
During this period the vehicles were used to dump waste – including sofas, window frames, builders’ rubble, carpet and mattresses – at locations in Aston, Hockley, Kings Norton, Kings Heath, Oscott and Perry Barr.
On 31 July 2015, Smithson drove the white Ford Transit – using fake registration plate – onto Becton Grove, Perry Barr where two sofas and crockery were flytipped. Then on 19 October 2015, Ducille was observed dumping a tonne-bag of builders’ plaster and rubble on Tame Road, Aston. Both incidents were captured on CCTV.
Between 26 November 2013 and 4 August 2015, Smithson’s waste collection service, which at times used the name A and R Removals advertised on websites including Gumtree and Yell.com – falsely stating it was a registered waste company and carrier, all waste was recycled, and disposed of in accordance with Environment Agency guidelines.
Smithson was also a regular visitor to a scrap metal yard in Nechells between 3 December 2013 and 29 February 2016. He received payments totalling £19,278.61 for scrap metal weighed-in, despite not being a licensed scrap metal dealer.
On 9 March 2016 Waste Enforcement Unit officers seized both Ford Transit vans were from Cranleigh Place, along with other evidence including two bundles of cash – £820 of which was found to be counterfeit notes – and receipts from cashing in the scrap metal.
Tony Quigley, Head of the Waste Enforcement Unit at Birmingham City Council, said: “This case was a classic example of individuals who had absolutely no respect for their local environment – and this prosecution shows we can and will pursue culprits who blight our neighbourhoods with fly-tipping.
“It also acts as a timely reminder that anyone who has waste should only use official, registered waste disposal firms – otherwise they will be contributing to fly-tipping in the city. It is worth spending a few minutes carrying out your own background checks before contacting any organisations offering such a service.
“Further, if you see anybody fly-tipping, report it. We need to tackle this criminal behaviour together.”
The Waste Enforcement Unit investigates dumped rubbish, officers will sift through rubbish bags to identify where it came from, in order to prosecute fly-tippers. Officers can also serve legal notice to landowners to clear rubbish that attracts or harbours vermin.