Published: 09:54, 22 January 2020
| Updated: 16:12, 26 February 2020
A man who refused to co-operate with an investigation into fly-tipping has been ordered to pay more than £400.
A single cardboard box, filled with household waste, was found dumped in Old London Road, Hythe in June 2019 by a member of the public, who reported it to Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
Through the contents of the box, officers were led to believe that James Highwood, of St Nicholas Terrace - which is less than a mile from Old London Road - could provide relevant information about the fly-tipped rubbish.
Mr Highwood was served with a statutory notice requiring him to share the required details with the authority within 14 days.
And over the course of a three month period, he was written to on three further occasions giving him the opportunity to respond - but he failed to reply to any of the letters.
Mr Highwood was convicted in his absence of failing to comply with the notice, contrary to section 110 of the Environment Act 1995, at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 13.
He was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £180 and a £32 victim surcharge - bringing the total bill for his inaction to £432.
Cllr Stuart Peall, FHDC cabinet member for enforcement, regulatory services, waste and building control, said: "Mr Highwood clearly thought an investigation into one dumped cardboard box wasn’t worth his time.
"But we take all incidents of fly-tipping seriously and are committed to prosecuting anyone found to be damaging our environment or refusing to help with enquiries where they have a legal obligation to do so.
"I’d like to thank the resident who contacted us about this particular matter."
The prosecution against Mr Highwood is just the latest example of the council's tough stance on those ignoring the law.
Two women from Folkestone - Samantha Beazley and Tara James - received fines for leaving rubbish and furniture to rot in the town.
And then in September last year, the owners of former Two Bells Inn, in Canterbury Road, Folkestone, were ordered to pay nearly £2,000 after the rear garden of the pub filled with rubbish.
To report an issue of flytipping in Folkestone, visit here.
More by this authorSam Williams