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Darlington couple named, shamed and fined for 'eyesore' fly-tip in back garden

Thomas Bell and Helen Milburn were reported to Darlington Borough Council's environmental health team by residents who complained about rubbish piling up in the rear yard of a property on Brook Terrace, along with a strong foul smell. <i>(Image: NORTHERN ECHO)</i>
Thomas Bell and Helen Milburn were reported to Darlington Borough Council's environmental health team by residents who complained about rubbish piling up in the rear yard of a property on Brook Terrace, along with a strong foul smell. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Two Darlington residents who dumped piles of food, household rubbish and furniture in the garden of their rented property have been ordered to pay over £600.

Thomas Bell and Helen Milburn were reported to Darlington Borough Council's environmental health team by residents who complained about rubbish piling up in the rear yard of a property on Brook Terrace, along with a strong foul smell.

Officers made written warnings and a Community Protection Notice was served in June 2021 ordering them to clear the site and dispose of their waste properly.

Read more: Pictures from Lyne Barlow's Christmas party at Tanfield Lea club

However, they ignored the notice and continued to dump items in the yard.

Magistrates sitting at Peterlee Magistrates Court found Bell and Milburn guilty of failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice, under Section 48 (1) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, in failing to remove unhygienic waste in a timely and proper manner.

They were each fined £220, and ordered to pay costs of £408 and a victim surcharge.

The site has been cleared by the council and the costs have been recovered through court action.

The Northern Echo: The growing pile of rubbish at the Darlington property. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO
The Northern Echo: The growing pile of rubbish at the Darlington property. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO

The growing pile of rubbish at the Darlington property. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Following the court judgement, Jamie Bartch, cabinet member for economy for Darlington Borough Council, said: “Rubbish and household waste needs to be disposed of regularly in a proper and hygienic manner because otherwise, we end up with a situation like this where it builds up in gardens or yards.

"Rubbish dumped outside encourages vermin, smells and flies, as well as being an eyesore and having a negative impact on neighbours and the local community.

“We offer a range of services to dispose of refuse but in this case repeated requests to remove the refuse were ignored and fixed penalty notices were not paid leaving us with no option but to prosecute and arrange for the refuse to be cleared and the costs recovered.”