Serial fly-tipper who struck in North Herts and South Cambs jailed

PUBLISHED: 13:08 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:23 23 April 2018

Robbie Johnston has been jailed for two years for fly-tipping. Picture: Herts police

Robbie Johnston has been jailed for two years for fly-tipping. Picture: Herts police

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A serial fly-tipper who dumped waste in several locations throughout North Herts and South Cambs has been jailed for two years.

Some of the rubbish Johnston dumped. Picture: NHDCSome of the rubbish Johnston dumped. Picture: NHDC

Robbie Johnston, of Windmill Close in Barkway, was operating as a waste carrier and – despite having a licence – was taking people’s waste and illegally dumping it.

The dumped rubbish consisted of builders waste, carpets, furniture, baths, beds, mattresses, garage doors, and other items of household waste.

In several of the incidents, environmental crime officers were able to trace the waste back to residents – who identified Johnston and even provided photographic evidence of the van he used, which was then traced via the DVLA to him.

Johnston was sentenced on Friday after pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court in February to fly-tipping waste at Barkway Road near Royston, Bell Lane in Nuthampstead, a bridleway just off the A505 near Royston, Letchworth’s Wilbury Hills picnic area, Standalone Farm and Jubilee Road, Therfield Road in Kelshall, Slip End near Ashwell, and then over the county border at Morden Grange Farm in Steeple Morden and Little Chishill Road near Little Chishill.

The dumped rubbish included builders' waste, carpets, furniture and baths. Picture: NHDCThe dumped rubbish included builders' waste, carpets, furniture and baths. Picture: NHDC

The 13 offences were brought about by North Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire district councils under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

NHDC also successfully applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order which prohibits Johnston from, among other things, being involved in any business or enterprise which involves collecting, carrying, depositing and or transporting waste by any means for five years. The council’s application for him to be disqualified from driving for three years was also successful.

Andy Godman, NHDC’s head of service for housing and public protection, said: “This case clearly illustrates that some individuals will continually try to flout the law when it comes to fly-tipping.

“Their behaviour is a blight on the district and we will use all the powers available to us to eradicate such illegal activities. We can all play a part in preventing fly-tipping and we encourage everyone to ensure that their waste is disposed of lawfully.”

Mike Hill, SCDC’s director of health and environmental services, said: “This is an excellent example of two neighbouring councils working together to bring to justice somebody who illegally dumped rubbish in the countryside.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for it, as there are plenty of ways to dispose of waste properly. If you see someone in the act, don’t approach them, but try to get as many details about the vehicle and the person you see doing it as possible. This gives us more chance of successfully prosecuting them.”

NHDC is part of the Hertfordshire fly-tipping group, made up of Herts police, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union, Keep Britain Tidy, and other councils in Hertfordshire.

The group recently launched a county-wide campaign which calls on residents and businesses to ‘S.C.R.A.P flytipping’ by following an easy-to-remember, five-step checklist when arranging one-off waste collections.

Anyone who spots fly-tipping taking place should contact police on 999 and report the incident to NHDC at www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/transport-and-streets/street-cleaning/fly-tipping if it’s in North Herts or www.scambs.gov.uk/form-type/report-it if it’s in South Cambs.

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