Published: Tuesday, 13th July 2021
Sevenoaks District Council has prosecuted a convicted fly-tipper for dumping waste in a country lane in South Darenth.
Thirty-year old Romeo Wickham from Norwood Road SE27 pleaded guilty to fly-tipping at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ court on Friday 9 July 2021 and was fined £1,380.
Mr Wickham’s latest crime came to light after the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team investigated a large fly-tipping incident in Gills Road, South Darenth on 21 November 2019.
Amongst the wooden furniture, chairs and numerous bags of waste, the Council Team found paperwork relating to a water delivery company in London. They contacted the company and found they had entered into an informal arrangement with Mr Wickham to remove their waste twice weekly from August 2019.
As part of their investigations, the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team asked to interview Mr Wickham on a number of occasions, however he never attended an interview.
Mr Wickham was initially summonsed to appear before Sevenoaks Magistrates’ court on 14 May 2021 but he failed to attend and asked for an adjournment, which was granted.
At the rearranged Court hearing on 9 July, Mr Wickham was ordered to pay an £800 fine, £250 towards the Council’s costs, £250 towards the clean-up costs and an £80 victim surcharge making a total of £1,380.
This was not the first time Mr Wickham has been convicted of a similar offence. At Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 13 April 2021, he pleaded guilty to fly-tipping builders' waste in a car park on 11 November 2019. On this occasion he was fined £660 and made to pay £458 in costs.
Cllr Margot McArthur, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener says: “I would like to pay tribute to our Environmental Enforcement Team who continued to pursue Mr Wickham even though he refused to co-operate with our investigation and failed initially to attend court.
“While we were disappointed with the punishment, given the sentencing guidelines show an unlimited fine or a custodial sentence for a repeat offender, this latest case sends a clear message to anyone considering fly-tipping in the Sevenoaks District – we will do all we can to catch you and bring you to justice.”
To report a case of fly-tipping, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/flytipping or call 01732 227000.