Man prosecuted for allowing van to be used for fly-tipping in St Albans

Ionut Damian was prosecuted after allowing his van to be used to fly-tip rubbish in Hogg End Lane ne

Ionut Damian was prosecuted after allowing his van to be used to fly-tip rubbish in Hogg End Lane near St Albans. Picture: St Albans District Council - Credit: Archant

A man who allowed his van to be used by fly-tippers was fined nearly £700 by St Albans District Council.

Ionut Damian, 30, of Lawn Lane, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to the offence under the Environmental Protection Act, after letting his van be used for the illegal transportation and fly-tipping of rubbish in Hogg End Lane, near St Albans.

In a written statement to St Albans Magistrates' Court, Damian said that he had been paid £40 by two men to use his Volkswagen Transporter.

He said the men told him they wanted to 'pick some items up' from Chelsea.

Damian said the vehicle was then used without his knowledge to take and dump two electric heaters and some wood by the roadside, adding: "I deny being present at the scene or disposing of waste myself."

CCTV footage captured the van and a BMW car parking in the fly-tipping hotspot on September 16, 2017. In the footage, one man appeared to act as a lookout while two other men fly-tipped the rubbish onto the verge.

Council officers found the van was a rental vehicle and traced it back to Damian, who was in control of it at the time.

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He was interviewed under caution and initially refused to identify the people involved in the fly-tip. He later revealed the name of one man he had loaned the van to, but by that time the man had moved to Romania.

Damian was fined £100 at the hearing on Wednesday, May 1, and ordered to pay the council £407 in compensation for waste removal costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He was also ordered to make a contribution to prosecution costs of £150, bringing the total sum to £687. The council's head of community services, Joe Tavernier, said: "This is the third successful prosecution for a fly-tipping offence that we have brought this year.

"It demonstrates our determination to deter fly-tipping by tracing those responsible and taking action against them. It also shows that the measures we are taking to combat this anti-social crime, such as the use of cameras in hotspots, are effective.

"In this case, the person taken to court did not carry out the fly-tip themselves. It is a reminder to people that they have a legal responsibility to ensure that waste is only picked up for disposal by someone who is licensed to do so."