Fly-tipper caught in council ‘sting’ operation slapped with asbo

Flytipping on Railway Terrace, Fitzwilliam'Flytipping case: Re Gavin Hurst
Flytipping on Railway Terrace, Fitzwilliam'Flytipping case: Re Gavin Hurst

A FLY-TIPPER was slapped with a two-year asbo after being made the target of a sting operation.

Gavin Hurst, of Railway Terrace, Fitzwilliam, was caught red-handed by officers from Wakefield Council who staged an undercover mission to catch him in the act.

Carol English, prosecuting for the local authority, told Pontefract Magistrates’ Court on Friday how Hurst, 34, was tricked by environmental crime officers into removing waste tagged with an electronic device from a property in Hillside Road, Ackworth.

The coup, which was executed in February, saw officers attend the abandoned residence and negotiate a price with Hurst for the removal of rubbish in the garden.

Officers then activated the tracking device and followed it to the defendant’s address in Fitzwilliam, where they witnessed him dump the waste to the rear of Railway Terrace.

Officers found evidence of waste fires and correspondence directly linking rubbish at the site to Hurst.

Mrs English said they returned to Hillside Road and waited for Hurst to return and remove further waste, where he was confronted by West Yorkshire Police and arrested.

She said: “Mr Hurst immediately said: ‘It’s guilty, I’ve done it’ and admitted he was involved.

“It’s the local authority’s view that these offences are anti-social in nature.

“Fly-tipping is an expensive matter and residents take a grim view of it. They believe it’s an eyesore and affects their quality of life.”

Officers were made aware of Hurst’s illegal operation when a Hemsworth resident alerted environmental services department to a note posted through her door offering to remove rubbish for £10.

Linda Wood, mitigating, said: “The defendant was not the brains behind the outfit and he was desperate for money.”

Hurst pleaded guilty to two counts of dumping waste illegally and to not being a registered carrier of waste. He was given a post-conviction anti-social behaviour order and made to a pay £250 fine, £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Marilyn Burt, chairman of the bench, said: “We feel the aggravating features are the distress caused to neighbours witnessing dumping and setting fire to waste, which is clearly an act of anti-social behaviour.”

Bob Taylor, Wakefield Council’s Service Manager for Enforcement, said: “The prosecution was the culmination of an operation to target those people who pose as waste carriers, but are in fact illegal fly-tippers. It involved a co-ordinated operation between Wakefield Council, the police and Wakefield District Housing using advanced surveillance techniques, which allowed us to gather the evidence for a successful prosecution.

“We would also like to thank the public for their help, which was essential in this case. The level of public co-operation clearly demonstrates the public support and concern about fly-tipping and makes us remain determined to tackle this crime.”