£1,500 bill for ‘free’ freezer

A LYDE Green man who left a freezer on a pavement with a sign saying “free to collector” has been fined for fly-tipping.

Lee Brunt, of Clematis Road, has been ordered to pay a total of £1,492 in fines and costs after South Gloucestershire Council prosecuted him for waste offences.

Bristol Magistrates Court heard that in June of this year the council’s street cleansing team found a freezer that had been abandoned on a paved area just outside South Road car park in Kingswood, on council land, with a note attached that said “free to collector”.

The council workers removed it for disposal by the operatives.

CCTV covering the area was then checked and Brunt, aged 47, could be seen wheeling the freezer from the back of an address on Regent Street and across South Road car park.

The freezer was left in the street and Brunt walked away, empty-handed.

He was called in for a voluntary interview at council offices in July and shown the CCTV and pictures of the discarded freezer.

A council spokesperson said: “He acknowledged that he was the person seen in the footage moving the freezer across the car park.

“He stated that he was in the process of moving out of his Regent Street flat and had left the note on the freezer offering it for free to passers-by.

“As his property backed on to the car park, he said he believed that the best location to place the freezer was on the pavement outside so as not to obstruct vehicles.

“He accepted that this was some distance away from his flat and that anyone finding the freezer would not know which property it had come from.”

In September Brunt pleaded guilty to fly-tipping and was ordered to pay a fine of £700, with £512 in costs and a £280 victim surcharge.

Council cabinet member for environmental enforcement Leigh Ingham said: “We will pursue anyone who dumps their rubbish illegally through the courts and our award-winning environmental enforcement team has a 100% record of securing successful prosecutions for this type of offence.”

Residents who see illegal fly tipping are encouraged to report it by contacting the council’s StreetCare helpdesk on 01454 868000.