Two men have appeared on two separate fly tipping charges in the Magistrates court following the dumping of unwanted items at Mont Cuet.
Both cases were brought to court following the men being captured on CCTV with both entering guilty pleas to illegally disposing of their unwanted items.
Robert Philip Bougourd was captured on 29 April 2018 in a white van depositing a sofa at Mont Cuet. He was seen putting the sofa, three back rests, metal poles and bases next to the recycling containers.
The prosecution outlined that the investigation into the fly tipping had cost £126 and that it would have only cost Bougourd £15 to deposit the sofa legally through the States bulk refuse scheme.
The duty advocate gave mitigation on behalf of Bougourd saying that he had fully intended to go back and collect the sofa and pay for its disposal. He had needed the space in his van so offloaded the sofa, but because he needed a co-driver to drive his van he had been unable to get the sofa the following day due to family commitments and he had then forgotten about it.
Judge McKerrell sentenced him to £400 or 20 days in prison saying that if Bougourd had fly tipped in the countryside and not at the tip site then the fine would be in the thousands and not the hundreds.
Upon sentence he further reiterated how fly tipping in other areas would incur a heavier fine stating: "Anywhere else rather that here then the fine would have been in the thousands."
In a similar case also before the Magistrates court this week, Mark Terence Edmonds admitted flytipping a rabbit hutch near the tip.
He had also been captured on CCTV depositing the wooden rabbit hutch at Mont Cuet where he was then observed continuing with his bottle recycling.
In his defence Edmonds said that the hutch was in good working order and that as there was nothing wrong with it he thought someone was bound to take it and had also left a note on it saying "free to take."
He also stated that in his work he spent on average £1000 a month on recycling fees and therefore if he had believed he had needed to pay then he would have done.
He passed his receipts to the bench for perusal, before Judge McKerrell said: "It is perhaps unfortunate in terms of timing that this is one of the first matters to come before the court as the island's approach to waste is taking a radical change and people have raised concerns about fly tipping.
"However I do not feel this is representative of the kind of cases we will be seeing going forward. It was a perfectly serviceable hutch and I believe you thought it could be taken away and used. You have provided evidence of paying for recycling and considering what you pay I accept that technically although you broke the law you did not do it flagrantly."
Given the unusual case and that it would not be typical of those going forward the judge made no order against Edmonds.
Pictured: The new waste transfer station being built at Longue Hougue to deal with Guernsey's rubbish
Richard Evans, States Trading Assets Deputy Managing Director, said the court had sent a very clear message to anyone disposing of waste illegally.
He said: “We are disappointed with any instance of fly-tipping, so we are very pleased that these two incidents have resulted in successful prosecutions."
“The stupidity is that for a few pounds, Mr Bougourd could have disposed of his items perfectly legally. Instead, he chose to dump it so that someone else would pay to deal with his waste. As a result, he now has a criminal conviction and a bill for £400. It really was not worth the risk."
Mr Evans said that although no fine was levied in the other case, "we understand the judge was very clear that the court will take a dim view of fly-tipping. I sincerely hope that this will send out a very strong message to anyone tempted to dump items illegally. These cases demonstrate that we will endeavour to identify any perpetrators, by any means available, and when we catch you we will look to prosecute you."
Ahead of the new waste strategy being implemented, and new charges being introduced Mr Evans said everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves:
“My message to any would be offenders is just do the right thing, take responsibility for your waste and dispose of it properly. That way you are not leaving yourself open to a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £20,000.
“The vast majority of islanders I am sure will be pleased with these prosecutions. Fly-tipping is anti-social, it is unsightly, and it ends up costing law-abiding members of the community, who care about their surroundings and have to foot the bill for clearing it up. I am sure I speak for all when I say these sort of actions will not be tolerated, and I would urge anyone who witnesses such incidents to contact Guernsey Waste on 01481 231234. By working together, we increase the chances of perpetrators being caught and hopefully that will serve as an even greater deterrent."
Ahead of the new waste strategy being introduced "there are a number of legal ways to dispose of household waste," he said.
The island wide free at the point of use kerbside collection scheme will continue for recyclable materials, that can be put out for collection in blue or clear bags. The bring banks will be remaining open under the strategy currently and items can also be taken to Longue Hougue.
Mr Evans said there is also a private company which will collect items while general household rubbish can either be put out for collection by the parish waste contractors, or it can be taken directly to Mont Cuet.
Mr Evans said bulkier items are also catered for: “A separate collection can be arranged for bulkier items that are not suitable for putting out in a black bin bag or dustbin, such as furniture or electrical appliances. Alternatively those items can be taken directly to Mont Cuet, which is free if it something that can be recycled, otherwise a small charge will apply. Disposing of items in any other way is an offence. That includes using public litter bins, coastal bins, or bring bank sites to dispose of household waste. Anyone who needs more information on what can go where can contact Guernsey Waste on 01481 231234.
“Businesses are required to make their own arrangements with a licensed waste contractor. Our thanks go to Guernsey Police for their work in gathering together the evidence to bring these cases to court.”
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