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Pensioner fined for fly-tipping after refusing to identify culprit

A tight-lipped pensioner from Langley was fined hundreds of pounds after refusing to identify a fly-tipping culprit who used his car.

Maurice James Smith, 66, of Tamar Way, Langley, was found guilty at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Friday, May 18, for knowingly causing the illegal deposit of waste.

The court heard that on October 18, 2017 a surveillance camera at Allerds Road, Burnham, filmed waste being illegally dumped by an unknown woman, driving Smith’s car.

When interviewed at a police station Smith confirmed the vehicle was his, but denied depositing the waste himself.

He said the driver was a casual acquaintance who he presumed had used a spare key to ‘borrow’ his car without his permission, while he visited his sister in Scotland.

Smith’s account was investigated and a second police station interview followed.

This time, Mr Smith admitted knowing the woman well but refused to identify her, claiming he believed she was too psychologically frail to undergo investigation.

He said the woman was keeping his spare car key while he was away in case he lost his main one.

Smith said he did not give permission for his car to be used and said he was strongly against fly-tipping.

He was told he was effectively preventing the investigation by not revealing the driver and so was held responsible for the dumping.

During his trial, Smith was questioned on his whereabouts during the incident and admitted he had not been in Scotland.

He was fined £200, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £30, amounting to a total of £730.

Speaking on behalf of the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire, South Bucks District Council cabinet member for environment Luisa Sullivan said: “The environmental protection law is framed in such a way that liability for fly tipping offences is wider than simply the act of dumping the waste. “This man's refusal to identify the woman seen on camera meant that the court was able to fine him as owner of the vehicle used in the offence.”

Visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/fly to report illegal dumping.

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