Jail Sentences For Tooting Common Flytippers

As council warns residents to check up on waste removal services

Two men who dumped tonnes of builder’s rubble and construction waste on Tooting Common earlier this summer have both been jailed for four years.

Professional flytippers Billy Smith and James Rice were both given lengthy custodial sentences after a crown court judge heard they were jointly responsible for a string of serious dumping incidents across south London and north Kent.

The two men drove round in their tipper truck looking for homes that were being renovated. They would then cold call the homeowner or the workers carrying out the refurbishments and offer to take away the waste for a competitive price. 

But instead of lawfully transporting the waste to a registered disposal site they dumped it either in the street or in a local park. Some of the flytips they caused were so big they completely blocked country lanes.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said,“This tough sentence should act as a severe warning to anyone tempted to flytip. The judge has sent out a very clear message about the fate that lies in store for anyone convicted of serious environmental crimes.”

Tooting Common Flytip

Above: the Tooting Common flytip was 80 metres long

In the June 3 incident on Tooting Common, the two men approached a local builder - Leonard Panxhy - who was working on a property in Moring Road, Tooting. He paid them to get rid of his waste and they drove onto the common and dumped it. The resulting flytip measured 80 metres in length.

Smith, from Orpington in Kent, and Rice, who lives in Bromley, were arrested by officers from Kent Police investigating serious flytipping incidents. They both admitted a string of offences when they appeared before Medway magistrates in September and were remanded in custody until sentenced by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court last week.

The judge heard that the two men had committed offences in Sevenoaks, Tooting, West Wickham, South Norwood, Sidcup, Keston and Bromley.

Last week Lavender Hill magistrates ordered Mr Panxhy to pay a total of £670 in fines and prosecution costs for his role.

Residents who choose to employ a waste removal company should always ask to see the relevant waste transfer notes to ensure it is being disposed of lawfully and they should also ask to see a waste carriers licence. Companies that offer to transport and remove waste on behalf of others must have a proper permit issued by the Environment Agency.

Residents who want rubbish cleared can call the town hall on (020) 8871 8558 and the council will remove waste for a modest fee. If residents opt instead for a private contractor they must make reasonable checks that the contractor is licensed and they must insist on a proper receipt. Failure to make these checks could render the homeowner liable to prosecution.

Anyone with information about rubbish being dumped should telephone (020) 8871 6396. All calls will be treated in confidence.

November 11, 2015