PICTURES: See the shocking mess for which a fly-tipper was jailed
A FLY-TIPPER '“ branded the area's worst '“ has been jailed after arranging for waste to be dumped across the county.
Ashley Mooney touted for business on Facebook trading as A&M Waste Clearance, charging up to £150 a time to take away rubbish.
But rubbish he picked up in a flat-bed truck, including sofas, mattresses, armchairs and pallets, was found scattered across Hampshire.
The 27-year-old was prosecuted by Portsmouth City Council, Gosport Borough Council, Fareham and Winchester councils.
Costs to landowners and the local authorities to clear the junk totalled £8,916 while combined investigation costs reached £16,702.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Mooney, formerly of Gosport, was caught after people who paid him were contacted by councils when fly-tipped rubbish was found and linked back to them.
In another case his red flat-bed truck was seen by a man in neighbourhood watch, who pursued the vehicle.
Prosecutor Duncan Milne said Mooney’s actions had a ‘significant’ effect on the countryside.
Addressing Mooney, he said: ‘What you were doing was making a quick buck by dumping waste unlawfully with the assistance of friends and colleagues.’
Mooney said he had set up the business ‘honestly’ believing he had the correct licence to transport waste.
But sentencing the unemployed dad-of-one to 12 months behind bars, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘It is plain this was an illegal enterprise from the very beginning.
‘You put members of the public at risk because you and your colleagues duped them into arranging to have their waste taken away.’
Councillor Graham Burgess, of Gosport Borough Council, was delighted by the news and said: ‘This is one of the worst cases of fly-tipping we have dealt with in Gosport, but Mr Mooney’s actions don’t stop here, he also dumped huge amounts of waste in Portsmouth and Winchester too.
‘Bringing this to court alongside the other offences resulted in Ashley Mooney facing an incredibly serious penalty.
‘Fly-tipping is selfish, anti-social and dangerous behaviour, and this 12-month prison sentence should be a warning that prosecution is a reality.’
Mooney, of Queens Drive, Liverpool, but formerly of Gosport, admitted 14 charges of causing depositing of waste without a licence, two counts of failing to comply with duties under the Environmental Protection Act, two charges of depositing waste without taking reasonable measures and a charge of failing to produce authority to transport controlled waste.
A further offence of causing depositing of waste was taken into consideration.
Portsmouth City Council’s environment boss, Councillor Rob New, added: ‘People like Ashley Mooney cannot blatantly disregard the law and think it doesn’t apply to them.’