A huge pile of rubbish described as a “rat-ridden waste mountain” has resulted in a father and son being fined almost £2,000.
A disused caravan, mattresses and building materials were all dumped outside the property in Star Street, Lye, Stourbridge, in the West Midlands, Dudley Council said.
Rubbish was left on the driveway and the back garden of the semi-detached bungalow rented by Paul Shillingford, 49, and his son, Aaron Shillingford, 30.
They appeared at Dudley Magistrates’ Court last week after a district judge ruled they had failed to clean up the mess within an agreed timescale.
They were fined £450 each and both ordered to pay £400 costs and a £32 victim surcharge, making a total of £1,764.
They have been given 28 days to pay the full amount or face further action, which could include imprisonment.
The court heard that the rubbish has now been cleared from the site, where Aaron Shillingford has a waste collection business registered.
Residents complained about the property in February 2020, saying they had seen rats running around and into neighbouring homes.
Last August, after council enforcement officers investigated, a notice was served giving the Shillingfords 21 days to clear the rubbish.
This was eventually extended to the start of April 2021, but the rubbish had still not been removed.
The father and son were found guilty of failing to comply with a notice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.
They denied the charge but were found guilty by a district judge last Friday.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm at Dudley Council, said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the court and the district judge in this case.
“I have seen the pictures taken by officers and I can only imagine what it must have been like to live so close to such an unsightly mess.
“These two men created a rat-ridden waste mountain outside their home which must have made life hell for everyone living around them.
“They were given every opportunity to tidy it up and failed to comply with extended deadlines.
“It should act as a strong warning to people that in cases like this we will take the strongest action available to us to protect our residents.
“These two men now have a large amount of money to find in a short space of time to avoid further punishment.”
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