Fly-tipper sentenced to pay fine of nearly £1300 after dumping green waste in Port Talbot

A PORT Talbot man who fly-tipped green waste near the centre of the town and failed to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) ended up being sentenced to pay a fine, costs and a victim impact surcharge totalling £1,288.38.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard David Edward Schwonek, 58, of Port Talbot, was spotted depositing green waste on land at Riverside Road, Port Talbot, on August 15th 2022, by a witness who took photographs and a video of the incident.

Neath Port Talbot Council Waste Enforcement Officers traced Mr Schwonek’s home address, via his car registration number, which was captured in the photographs.

Mr Schwonek admitted to enforcement officers who visited his home he had fly-tipped the waste but ‘did not think there would be an issue with getting rid of green waste’ as there had been no signage.

He accepted a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice for the offence of unlawfully depositing controlled waste; contrary to s33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but despite reminder letters the FPN remained unpaid.

Mr Schwonek failed to attend a hearing at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on October 5th 2023 and a bench warrant for his arrest was issued. Police later executed the warrant and he was brought before the court on 19th October 2023, where he pleaded guilty to unlawfully depositing the waste.

The District Judge, in sentencing, told the court he took into account the defendant’s lack of previous convictions, the limited nature of the offence, and his early guilty plea.

Cllr Scott Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, said: “This case is an example of what can happen if FPNs are ignored and it also shows how seriously the courts are taking fly-tipping, which is a blight on our communities,”

Mr Schwonek was sentenced to pay a fine of £440, prosecution costs of £672.38 and a victim impact surcharge of £176, totalling £1,288.38, within 56 days.

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