A tip-off by a member of the public has resulted in a Derbyshire woman being prosecuted for a fly-tipping offence at the Pennytown Ponds beautyspot in Somercotes.
Abbie Jones-Dorning, now of High Street, Stonebroom, near Alfreton, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, of failing in her duty of care to dispose of waste correctly.
At the time of the offence Jones-Dorning was living in Somercotes.
She appeared before South Derbyshire Magistrates Court, in Derby, on June 21, in connection with the incident from April 2016 when a member of the public reported to Amber Valley Borough Council they had witnessed a person dumping six bags of waste at Pennytown Ponds. This tip-off helped the council secure the prosecution.
Jones-Dorning failed to appear at court on June 1 and a warrant for her arrest was issued which resulted in her arrest and appearance in court.
She was fined £480 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £48 and costs of £723.
On sentencing, a magistrate told Jones-Dorning: “If you would have driven to your nearest waste and recycling centre instead of a dead-end road you would not find yourself here today having to pay all this money.”
Pennytown Ponds is used daily by residents and workers who enjoy walking, exercising their dogs and fishing.
The ponds are also used by local groups for historical walks, natural history events and environmental volunteer days.
Commenting on the case, Councillor Chris Short, Amber Valley Borough Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “The willingness of the courts to issue a warrant and fines of this size, along with the comments of the Magistrate when sentencing, is an indication of how seriously environmental crimes are viewed.
“This was a long and complicated investigation due in part to the fact that the offender failed to co-operate with the council.
“Envirocrime has a detrimental effect on communities and we will continue to investigate and prosecute those who commit such offences.
“We thank the member of the public who witnessed the events and helped with the investigation. I urge others to do the same and report any incidents to the council.
“Pennytown Ponds is a nature reserve, used by the local community and it is disgraceful that individuals do not respect such places and spoil them for the community as a whole.”
Witnesses are urged to report any incidents of fly-tipping, dog fouling or littering to the Amber Valley Borough Council helpline on 01773 841335.