Man fined after being caught on covert CCTV dumping wooden fencing in a Harborough district country lane

He claimed that someone had ‘copied his vehicle identity’ - but the CCTV footage clearly identified him as the driver

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:10 am

A man who was caught on a covert CCTV dumping wooden fencing in a country lane in the Harborough district has been fined.

Vincent Smith (40) of New Romney Crescent, Leicester, pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on September 15, to fly-tipping in Houghton Lane, Stoughton, on February 7, 2020.

He has been ordered by a court to pay out nearly £4,500.

CCTV cameras caught Vincent Smith offloading wooden fencing panels in Houghton Lane, damaging the grass verge and blocking part of the road, before driving away.

The court heard how Smith had used a tipper van to offload wooden fencing panels in Houghton Lane, damaging the grass verge and blocking part of the road, before driving away.

But covert CCTV, installed by Harborough District Council’s enviro-crime team, caught Smith in the act and was able to identify the vehicle registration plate.

Smith originally denied the offence when questioned by Harborough District Council, claiming that someone had ‘copied his vehicle identity’, but the CCTV footage, which showed a bearded man wearing a distinctive earring, clearly identified Smith as the driver.

The court also heard that Smith was a repeat offender who had previously received a fixed penalty notice from the Council on December 12 2019 for fly-tipping in Scraptoft.

Smith was fined £1,661 by the court, with a £166 surcharge, and ordered to pay costs of £2,640.

In mitigation, Smith accepted it was him, and said he was “embarrassed” and regrets it happened. He said he had initially denied the offence due to money concerns.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for environmental services, said: “This is a fantastic result and sends out a loud and clear message that if you illegally dispose of waste in our district we will use the full power of the law against you.

"I’d like to congratulate our prosecution team, and say a big thank you to the Police who helped speed up this outcome by executing warrants for arrest when the defendant previously failed to turn up to a court hearing. We will not tolerate fly-tipping and this shows how big the financial penalties can be if you flout the law.”

This latest prosecution follows a number of fixed penalty notices – four since April 2021 – issued by Harborough District Council for fly-tipping in recent years, as well as successful court cases, forming part of its award-winning Tip Off campaign to crackdown on the illegal dumping of waste in the Harborough district.

The campaign has resulted in a significant reduction in fly-tipping in the district over the past two-years, bucking the national trend.

Find out more about Tip Off on the Council’s website at www.harborough.gov.uk/tipoff