John Joseph Keenan (33) of Fullers Court, Letchworth Garden City, Herts, pleaded guilty at High Wycombe Magistrates Court this week (22 March 2017) to two offences of fly-tipping and four offences of failure in duty of care regarding waste he had produced.
The court heard that on 28 September 2015 waste was found dumped on Duckmore Lane, Tring. A member of the public examined the waste and found items which were subsequently traced by investigators to work carried out by Mr Keenan’s company, Gladstone Home Improvements Ltd.
On 9 March 2016 an investigator from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire found (in passing) waste dumped at Bottom Lane, Seer Green. The waste was traced to an address in Harrow. The investigator visited the address and found newly finished driveway works by Gladstone Home Improvements Ltd.
On 12 May 2016 the investigator found waste dumped illegally by the roadside at Askett near Princes Risborough. The waste had come from driveway works at a private residence in Epsom, Surrey. Payment for the work had been made to Mr Keenan.
On 26 May 2016 waste dumped at College Road North, Aston Clinton, was examined by a second investigator. The waste was again traced to work carried out by Gladstone Home Improvements Ltd on a domestic property in Mitcham, Surrey.
On 8 August 2016 a surveillance camera targeting fly-tipping recorded images of Mr Keenan dumping a truck load of driveway waste at Halton, near Aston Clinton, from a tipper truck registered to him. The waste was examined for evidence and was found to have come from work carried out by Gladstone Home Improvements Ltd at Edgware, London.
On 5 October 2016 a second surveillance camera captured images of Mr Keenan’s tipper truck dumping a load of waste at Chalk Lane, Little Missenden. Again, the waste was examined for evidence and was found to have come from work carried out by Mr Keenan.
When interviewed at a police station, Mr Keenan admitted duty of care failings in his working practice, but denied dumping waste himself. He could not account for the visible physical similarity between himself and the dumper. At court he entered guilty pleas to all charge.
The Magistrates sentenced Mr Keenan to 16 weeks imprisonment (suspended for 12 months) and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £4,749.01.
Warren Whyte, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment said: “This case is a serious one involving a campaign of criminal fly-tipping across the county. In cases like this we will thoroughly investigate so that the perpetrators are brought to justice in Buckinghamshire. As this successful prosecution shows, we will not tolerate this sort of selfish and arrogant disregard for our environment.”
The case was prosecuted by Buckinghamshire County Council working on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire. The Waste Partnership launched the “Illegal Dumping Costs” campaign in November 2003 to combat illegal dumping and waste management offences in Buckinghamshire. Since that date the Partnership has secured 582 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences. On average since April 2010, there has been at least one conviction per week for illegal dumping offences in Buckinghamshire. This has resulted in a halving of reported incidents and a significant saving to the Buckinghamshire tax payer over the period, principally through reducing removal and disposal costs.
Report fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire at www.buckscc.gov.uk/fly or call 0845 330 1856.