Fly-tippers Dump 30 Tons of Asbestos
Fly-tippers dump 30 tons of asbestos
Tuesday, August 2nd 2011, 5:00PM BST
Two fly-tippers dumped 30 tons of asbestos in South Staffordshire countryside leaving a would-be employee to carry the can when they were spotted, a court heard.
The low-loader used was in the name of 20-year-old Oliver Franklin from Dudley, who signed as the registered owner on the promise of a driver’s job which never materialized.
He believed the pair when they said the vehicle had to be registered to him for him to drive it, he told the court.
Ali Tabari, prosecuting on behalf of South Staffordshire Council, said dog-walker Cyril Heathcock was suspicious when he saw a wagon loaded with rubbish, topped with a mattress, parked up on a bridle path in Himley as he took a stroll on May 13 last year.
When he returned to the scene a few minutes later, he saw the tipper offloading the pile onto the path where it had been joined by a skip lorry, Cannock Magistrates Court heard.
Mr Heathcock memorized the registration plate, and contacted the council. Officers found the padlock on the gate had been cut and two piles of rubbish dumped, one a 30-ton mound of hazardous asbestos and the other 40 tons of mixed builders’ waste.
But Mark Sheppard, defending, told Cannock magistrates that the only time Franklin saw the low-loader was when he drove the two men he believed would employ him to buy it.
He did not pay for the vehicle and was not present when it off-loaded the waste, he said. He had been laid off and was looking for work when he was put in touch with the men.
Mr Sheppard said that Franklin, of Kent Street, Gornal, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, had never been in trouble before and had been taken in.
He was cleared of dumping the waste by magistrates who said he was “not in a position to exercise control over the vehicle” at the time of the offence.
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