Car owner receives hefty fine when her vehicle is linked to fly-tip

A woman whose car was filmed in a fly-tipping incident in Castlefield, High Wycombe, has been fined and ordered to pay a hefty contribution to clear up costs, leaving her more than £2,000 out of pocket.

Mary Nolan Purcell, aged 57, from Greenlands in Princes Risborough, pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal dumping when she appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Wednesday 18 October 2023.

The court heard that on Tuesday 28 December 2021, wooden cabinets were found dumped in Longland Way in Castlefield, Buckinghamshire. A camera belonging to a local resident recorded the suspect’s vehicle arriving at the location during the day. The passenger of the vehicle was filmed going to the back of the vehicle, opening the rear doors and dumping waste onto the ground. The vehicle then drove away leaving the waste behind.

The vehicle was traced back to a Mary Nolan Purcell. Miss Purcell attended an interview at the Council office in Aylesbury, where she admitted to the vehicle being hers, however she denied any knowledge of the dumping.

In cases like this, the law requires the owner of a vehicle to exercise 'all due diligence' to avoid their vehicle being used to dump waste illegally. If they have not done so, they are viewed as having 'knowingly caused' the illegal deposit of waste and they are held responsible in law for the fly-tip offence.

Magistrates fined Miss Purcell £300 and ordered her to pay a contribution of £1,800 towards the Council’s clean up and investigation costs. A victim surcharge of £34 was also levied – making a total to pay of £2,134.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment said: “This case shows how we will use all evidence available to us when it comes to prosecuting criminals for fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire. It costs the Council a vast amount of money every year to clean up the mess left by those who think that fly-tipping is acceptable. It is only right that the perpetrators are forced to contribute towards these costs. There is no excuse for fly-tipping. These items could have been taken to one of our Household Recycling Centres and disposed of legally and easily.”

To report fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire report it online on FixMyStreet.