This is the moment a van used by a flytipper from Armley was crushed after being impounded by officials.
Its owner, Martin Hughes of Armley Town Street, pleaded guilty to offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Leeds Crown Court and was sentenced on Monday.
Hughes was sentenced to a 15-month custodial sentence after pleading guilty to six counts of fly-tipping and one duty of care offence at Leeds Crown Court.
His conviction followed a complex investigation undertaken by Leeds City Council environmental enforcement officers, gathering evidence from several fly tips for which they were able to prove a link to Hughes.
The investigation found Hughes had been operating a commercial waste removal business without the appropriate licenses and disposing of commercial and household waste illegally across Leeds throughout 2018 and 2019.
Evidence linked him to multiple incidents of fly tipping in the Pudsey area, and council officers strategically deployed CCTV cameras at the fly tip hotspot to detect further offences.
The CCTV camera recorded waste being dumped from the Mr Hughes’ van on a further two occasions at the same location. Further evidence was also found linking Mr Hughes to other incidents of fly tipping.
Following the Hughes’ van being spotted by council officers in September 2019, the vehicle was seized, a search of the vehicle found it to be full of household waste including sofas, wood, and garden waste. As the impounded van had little recoverable value and Hughes did not come forward to claim it, the van was crushed and scrapped.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and housing, said:
“Fly tipping is recognised as a national issue. However, Leeds City Council has a very clear message: we will not tolerate fly tipping in Leeds and will continue to prosecute anyone who believes that they can flout the rules and blight our communities and environment.
“It is pleasing to see the courts using their custodial sentencing power to show that fly tipping is not worth the price.
“We have recently announced the establishment of a new Serious Environment Crime Team, which will allow the council to dedicate even more time investigating and tracking down those waste collection companies and individuals who are illegally operating and creating many of the fly tips that occur in Leeds.”
To help residents legally dispose of their waste Leeds City Council recently announced a raft of new proposals including the development of a scheme to make it easier for residents to find clearance companies with the required licenses to dispose waste legally and the increasing of opening hours at weekends for trade/commercial waste disposal at Leeds City Council waste sites. For more information, visit this website.