Miss Caterina Marinelos, 37, appeared at Poole Magistrates Court on Friday 8 March and was found guilty of Unlawful Deposit of Controlled Waste (fly-tipping) following a trial, having entered a Not Guilty plea.
On Thursday 10 May 2018, an off-duty police officer witnessed the offence at Saxon Square car park in Christchurch.
The officer was sat in his car and noticed a couple who were returning to a white BMW. A blonde female went to the boot of the vehicle and removed a black bin liner, which appeared to be full of grass. She then placed this black bag on the floor of the car park and drove off.
The officer’s partner, who is also a police officer, then passed the details of the incident – including the car registration details – to the DWP’s Enforcement Team for investigation.
Upon tracking Miss. Marinelos to her home address – which was in Bingham Road, Christchurch at the time of the incident – the team issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) which the defendant failed to pay.
As a result, DWP Enforcement Officers began work with Dorset County Council’s legal team to take the case to court. Miss. Marinelos was successfully prosecuted and given a 6-month conditional discharge. She was also ordered to pay £500 towards costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
An Enforcement Officer for the Dorset Waste Partnership commented:
“This is yet another example of someone illegally dumping waste which could have been taken to a household recycling centre (HRC) and dropped off free of charge. Christchurch HRC is open daily and less than 10 minutes’ drive from where the waste was tipped.
And yet, even in the face of strong evidence, the defendant chose not to pay the issued Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) and has instead been prosecuted.
This prosecution also demonstrates that paying an FPN is not optional and we are fully prepared to take non-payees to court.”
The Dorset Waste Partnership is currently running its Tip-Off campaign, that seeks to ensure people are protected when handing their waste to others, as well as what to do if you see a fly-tip and what you can take to your local household recycling centre.