Northamptonshire woman fined for allowing her van to be used to illegally dump waste

Piece of traceable rubbish used to prove Stokes was involved in fly-tipping at business park

Monday, 28th September 2020, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 3:36 pm

A Northamptonshire woman who allowed her vehicle to be used in the illegal dumping of waste has been convicted today (Monday, September 28).

Kathleen Stokes pleaded guilty to knowingly fly-tipping at a business park in London in 2018 at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

The woman, previously of Dun Roamin Park, Whitfield, Brackley, was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £30.

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Kathleen Stokes' van and the waste that was illegally dumped in Edmonton, London. Photos: Environment Agency

Stephen Sweetlove, from the Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution, said: “Where a vehicle is used to unlawfully deposit waste, the person in control of the vehicle, or in a position to control it, is deemed criminally liable for the deposit of the waste.

“Through the persistent intervention of our officers, the Environment Agency has seen a reduction in the number of offences linked to Operation Angola.

"Our conviction of Stokes shows we pursue law-breakers from the crime to the courtroom.”

The court heard several caravans and associated vehicles were seen alongside a large amount of deposited waste at an illegal encampment on Harbet Road, Stonehill Business Park, Edmonton, in March 2018.

While an environmental crime officer was on site, a grey tipper truck was seen driving past filled with wood-type waste, which was seen parked in Ravenside Retail Park's car park nearby later that day.

Suspicious it was being dumped illegally, they added a piece of traceable waste to the back of the truck, including a handwritten note stating the date and location.

The next month the officer attended Unit 8 again, which had been vacated and was unoccupied but it was obvious that further waste had been left since the last visit.

The officer recovered the traceable item that encased her handwritten note, confirming her suspicions that the load was the same load discovered on the tipper truck in March.

The DVLA advised the Environment Agency that the vehicle had been acquired by Stokes and that she remained the registered keeper, which led to her prosecution. Officers also seized the vehicle.