A fly-tipper who made national headlines after he was caught on camera dumping three tonnes of building waste as he drove along a Croydon street, has been warned he faces jail.
George Smith of Crowley Crescent, Waddon, was convicted today after being caught on CCTV tipping rubble, wood and other building waste from his flat-bed truck as he drove at speed along Croham Manor Close, an alleyway off Campden Road in South Croydon.
The 40-year-old was prosecuted by Croydon Council, who also seized the abandoned Ford Transit soon after the offence on 15 March last year. As part of its Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride campaign, the council launched a public appeal for witnesses. A second vehicle was also seized by council officers as part of the investigation and both will be crushed by the council after sentencing.
Today at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, Smith was found guilty of the Croham Manor Close offence, two other counts of fly-tipping in South Croydon and a fourth fly-tip in Thornton Heath between 12 February and 11 April 2016. He was also found guilty of failing to respond to a notice under section 108 of the Environment Act.
The court heard Smith, who admitted one count of operating without a trade waste licence, claimed the waste had been dumped by someone else using duplicate number plates on both Ford Transits.
At an earlier trial hearing on 16 November, District Judge Karen Hammond allowed a bad character application from the council, which included Smith’s previous conviction in October 2016 for fly-tipping in Tandridge district on 12 April the same year.
Smith, who defended himself in court, said he had not been allowed by the Environment Agency to hold a waste carrying licence for over 10 years.
He will be sentenced on 25 January and was told by District Judge Karen Hammond that she could not rule out a custodial sentence.
Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon
“Of all the offenders we’ve prosecuted so far under our Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign, this was the most shameless.
“Fly-tipping is ugly, expensive to clear and blights communities in Croydon and across the UK, and other offenders need to know they can face jail for crimes like this.
“This prosecution is another excellent result from our dedicated council officers who will continue to catch and prosecute the worst offenders.”
The case is the council’s 127th successful prosecution under its Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign, which combines enforcement with encouraging over 300 locals to lead community litter picks and educating people about recycling.