Lisa Jane Hopkins, 51 years of Goddard Court, Winnersh, Wokingham, has been guilty and convicted of fly tipping offences at Reading Magistrates Court on 23 October 2017 following a trial.
The Court heard that on the morning of Friday 5 May 2017 an environmental control officer working for a shared service provided by Bracknell, West Berkshire and Wokingham Borough Councils, discovered household waste dumped in Churchill Drive, Winnersh at the side of the road. The pile of waste was on a grass verge at the bottom of a tree and included a cardboard box, metal framework, wooden decking, a bicycle tyre inner-tube and a blind. A packaging label found within the waste was traced to Hopkins’ address.
Hopkins was interviewed at a police station where she admitted dumping the waste. Despite this, Hopkins subsequently entered a “not guilty” plea at court and elected for trial. She believed that she had a defence as she claimed to have been putting her household waste in the same location for many years and the local council had been collecting it. At court Hopkins described her actions as “stupid” and alleged that other residents had been dumping their household waste in the immediate area in a similar manner and believed that this may have “desensitised” her to the problem.
The Magistrates fined Hopkins £461 and ordered her to pay £650 towards prosecution costs, plus £46 in victim surcharge. The total to pay was therefore £1,157.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment said: “This case should serve to act as a reminder to all residents that fly tipping offences will not be tolerated and will be investigated by Wokingham Borough Council. Dumping household waste at the bottom of a tree and not in the prescribed bags has resulted in the lady in question receiving a criminal record for her actions. The council has a statutory duty to collect illegally dumped or fly tipped waste, but this does not mean it is acceptable. If you witness any waste being illegally dumped please call (0118) 974 6000 or 0800 212 111 outside of office hours.”