High Wycombe man convicted for fly-tipping
A man from High Wycombe has been convicted of waste crime after being caught on CCTV dumping three tipper-truck loads of waste in north London.
The footage, recorded by Enfield Council, showed John Steven McDonagh discarding the waste, which included a fridge freezer and construction materials, at Montagu Industrial Estate in Edmonton.
Following an Environment Agency (EA) investigation, McDonagh appeared in Highbury Corner magistrates’ court. The defendant pleaded guilty to three waste offences, and was fined £400, with costs of £260 and a victim surcharge of £40.
The conviction was part of Operation Angola, a partnership between the EA and various agencies to target waste crime across the South East.
Emma Viner, Area Enforcement Manager for the EA, said: “McDonagh’s actions showed blatant disregard for the environment and local community in order to make a quick buck, dumping household waste on both the public highway and private land.
“Through the persistent intervention of our offices and by working together with, in this case, Enfield Council, the Metropolitan Police and DVLA, we are successfully disrupting this organised criminality and bringing those responsible to justice.
“Our conviction of McDonagh shows we pursue law-breakers from the crime to the courtroom. We urge members of the public to help us reduce waste crime by using a registered waste carrier, checking their validity on gov.uk.”
Cllr Guney Dogan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “This was a calculated crime that wrecked the environment in Edmonton, and a significant amount of time and effort was required to clear up the waste after it was dumped.
“We are pleased the perpetrator of this crime has been brought to justice, and we’d urge anyone who knows the identity of fly-tippers to let us know so we can seek further prosecutions to send out the message that such behaviour is criminal, unacceptable and likely to lead to further enforcement action.”
Waste crime places considerable strain on both the environment and economy, costing the waste industry and taxpayers around £604 million a year in England through lost landfill tax revenues.
An EA report, published in October 2018, revealed that a record £25.5 million in fines had been issued by courts for environmental offences in 2017/18, compared to £8 million the previous year.
Cracking down on waste crime, the government introduced a new law in January 2019, stating that any householder who fails to find a licensed carrier for their waste, and whose waste ends up being fly-tipped or illegally disposed of, could face fines of up to £400.