A woman who was paid £50 to lend her van to a neighbour has been left with a £580 bill, after it was used to fly-tip domestic waste in Harpurhey.
Ruta Dudiene was taken to court by Manchester City Council’s Environmental Crimes team, with the help of evidence provided by a local business.
In January 2018, the council received a referral from the private firm, after a staff member on his way to work discovered a large amount of waste which had been dumped on Fitzgeorge Street, Harpurhey.
After checking the firm’s CCTV cameras from the previous evening, the witness found footage showing a Volkswagen Crafter van pulling up at the entrance to a car park at around 2am on Wednesday 10 January 2018. The camera captured the van pulling away, having left the fly-tipped waste behind.
After receiving a witness statement, council officers took photographs of the waste, before organising for the fly-tip to be cleared away and referring the case to the Environmental Crimes team for investigation.
Using DVLA records, investigators confirmed that the van belonged to Dudiene, 30, of Holtby Street, Moston.
Dudiene attended an interview under caution in April 2018 and admitted that the vehicle used in the fly-tip belonged to her. She told an investigating officer that at the time of the offence, the van had been "leased" to a neighbour, who was in the process of moving house. Dudiene added that she had charged her neighbour £50 to use the van for two days and provided a photocopy of a Polish driving licence to the investigating officer. She claimed not to recognise any of the three men who featured in the CCTV footage.
Investigating officers could not find any trace of the neighbour Dudiene claimed to have lent the vehicle to, but were able to prosecute her as the owner of the vehicle which had been used to dump the waste, under the Environmental Protection Act.
Dudiene pleaded guilty to an offence of knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited at a hearing at the Magistrates' Court on 12 April 2019. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £300, plus a victim surcharge of £30 - a total of £580.
Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: “Dudiene thought she could make a quick buck by lending out her van, but was instead left to pay hundreds of pounds in fines and costs for a fly-tipping offence committed using her vehicle.
“I’d like to thank the local company which stepped up and provided us with the evidence we needed to take Dudiene to court and our Environmental Crimes team, for ensuring that this offence was punished.
“We’re determined to make Manchester a no-go city for fly-tippers and with more than 200 successful prosecutions for fly-tipping and other waste crimes in 2018/9, we will continue to use our powers to catch as many criminals as possible.
“Our residents and businesses have the power to help us win the fight against fly-tipping. If you have any evidence at all relating to a fly-tipping offence in your neighbourhood, I urge you to contact us in confidence.”