Stoke Gifford man ordered to pay over £1,500 for fly-tipping

A man from Stoke Gifford has been ordered to pay £1,541 after South Gloucestershire Council prosecuted him for fly-tipping waste in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire.

David Spiring of Cow Barton in Stoke Gifford pleaded guilty to the offence of fly-tipping when he appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court in February. Spiring had previously failed to appear in court twice for the offence, so magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest and he was detained ahead of the hearing. He was ordered to pay a fine of £480, along with £813 in costs, £56 in clear up costs, and a £192 victim surcharge, making £1,541.

The court heard that on 8 August 2022 the proprietor of The White Horse Public House on Hambrook Lane became aware of a number of black household rubbish bags that had been discarded in the car park.

The pub’s CCTV revealed a car had driven into the car park that morning and the driver could be seen to get out of the vehicle and remove approximately six black bags of household waste which he placed and left in the car park, before driving off. The footage also showed that the vehicle had three single mattresses attached to its roof, but they were not discarded, and the driver left with them still on the vehicle.

The proprietor contacted South Gloucestershire Council and Environmental Enforcement officers attended. They confirmed that it was general household waste and found a letter addressed to Spiring at his home address within one of the bags. 

On Monday 22 August Environmental Enforcement officers attended Spiring’s address and observed the same vehicle on the driveway of the property. Spiring answered the door and was made aware of the nature of the visit by the officers, who cautioned him and proceeded to ask questions about the offence, to most of which he responded with “no comment”.

When questioned about the mattresses and if those had also been fly-tipped, Spiring responded by saying he always fly-tips his rubbish as well as claiming he doesn’t pay any taxes, rates, insurance, or fines.

Spiring declined the opportunity to view the CCTV footage and at the conclusion of the conversation he was advised that he would be reported to attend court for the fly-tip and would receive the summons in the post.

Councillor Rachael Hunt, cabinet member responsible for environmental enforcement at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This case is further proof of our unrelenting commitment to prosecute fly-tippers and I hope it serves as a deterrent to anyone who considers dumping their waste illegally in South Gloucestershire.

“This waste could have been disposed of lawfully at one of our Sort It recycling centres, but instead it was discarded in the car park of a public house and expected that others would clear it away. There is no excuse for fly-tipping, it has a negative impact on our communities and local environment, and we all have a responsibility to make sure that our waste is disposed of in the appropriate manner.

“We will pursue anyone who dumps their rubbish illegally through the courts and our award-winning environmental enforcement team has a 100 per cent record of securing successful prosecutions for this type of offence. Our zero-tolerance approach means that anyone who fly-tips in South Gloucestershire is five times more likely to be prosecuted than anywhere else in the country.”