Fly-tipper caught on camera dumping waste before it was set alight in Sunderland

A fly-tipper who was caught on camera dumping waste before another set it alight in an area of Sunderland has been ordered to pay almost £2,000.

Darren Roxby was driving a pick-up truck when he was captured on CCTV dumping a large quantity of waste on Houghton's Gravel Walks estate. CCTV cameras installed by Sunderland City Council following issues in the area with fly-tipping also captured his passenger getting out of the vehicle and pouring petrol over the waste before setting it alight.

Roxby pleaded guilty to three counts of fly-tipping when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on April 30. He also pleaded guilty to transporting controlled waste in the course of a business / or otherwise with a view to profit without registering as an upper tier waste carrier.

The Gravel Walks footage shows a Ford Transit pick-up laden with waste driving into the area and reversing before tipping waste onto a grassed area next to disused garages. A male passenger then gets out, pours petrol over the waste and sets it alight before the van makes off from the scene.

The two other fly-tipping offences, involving waste being dumped at the former Forest Estate off South Hetton Road Easington Lane, and in one case being set ablaze, were also caught on camera by Sunderland City Council's Streetwatch CCTV last September and October.

Councillor Lindsey Leonard, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Net Zero at Sunderland City Council, said: "Fly-tipping can be a real blight on our communities so I'm really pleased that we managed to achieve a successful prosecution in this case. The sheer audacity of this fly-tipping, dumping large amounts of waste in broad daylight before setting it on fire has to be seen to be believed.

"I hope that the conviction and sentence, which requires this individual to do 80 hours unpaid work in the community, sends out a clear message that this type of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstance. The seizure of the van with the help of police working in the HALO Team is also evidence of the effectiveness of partnership working in tackling issues affecting our communities, which is exactly what it was set up to do.

"I would urge anyone who comes across fly-tipping in their community to report it so that we can tackle it and, where the evidence is available, take action against those responsible "

Roxby of Seventh Street, Blackhall Colliery, was ordered to pay out a total of £1,935.70, made up of a victim surcharge of £114, clean-up costs of £395 and costs of £1,426.70. The court also imposed a 12-month community order requiring Roxby to do 80 hours unpaid work.

The Ford pick-up involved in the fly-tipping was later located and seized by Sunderland City Council Environmental Enforcement Officers with the help of Police Officers from Hetton's HALO Team (Hetton Aspirations Linking Opportunities).

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We understand and recognise the adverse impact that fly-tipping has. It can spoil the look and feel of our neighbourhoods. That’s why we’re proud to work alongside Sunderland City Council and our other partners as part of the HALO team, and hope this conviction sends out a strong message to other would-be offenders."