Dad dumped rubbish he had been paid to get rid

A FATHER of four young children was told by magistrates he came close to serving jail time for fly-tipping lorry loads of rubbish on private land.

Joseph Smith, aged 27, of Moorland Park, Hewish, pleaded guilty to depositing waste without a licence between February 1 and March 9.

Prosecutor Sally Andrews said Smith had visited three establishments to collect waste, including a Weston carpet company, a dental laboratory and a private home, leaving leaflets with his telephone number.

Smith was paid individually for these removals, with fees varying between �60 and �170.

However, the waste - including gum moulds, teeth, school reports, cheque books, cardboard boxes, rubbish bags and cables - was later found dumped on land off Moorland Park.

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Miss Andrews said: “In the last year, fly-tipping cost North Somerset Council �70,000. The defendant admitted he had been paid to take the waste and told the individuals he would take the lorry loads to the Weston tip.”

Shona Grundy, defending, told the court Smith is a self-employed landscape gardener, but will turn his hand to anything to make money to provide for his four children.

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She said: “Mr Smith stands before the court a very scared man and is the breadwinner of his family and his pay varies greatly from week to week. He has four young children, aged five, three, one and seven months.

“It’s accepted there was more than one incident within a short period but he has not gained a great deal financially. He is petrified of a custodial sentence and he will bear the burden of paying the compensation.”

Magistrate Sue Penn said: “At first we felt this did reach the threshold for custody, but in the view that you have pleaded guilty, told us exactly what happened and shown remorse, we will bring this to a community penalty and this will be a curfew.

“You have learned a lesson now and it’s an expensive lesson. You did come pretty close to a custodial sentence.”

Smith was sentenced to a six-month community order with a three-month curfew to run from 7pm-7am.

He was also ordered to pay �1,080 compensation and �1,175 in costs.

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