Truck scale

Man fined £20,000 over large scale landfills in Cobham and Shorene

A man has been fined £20,000 for large-scale dumping on private land and farmland in Cobham and Shorene.

Darren Divall, 51, appeared before magistrates in Sevenoaks on Wednesday June 22 and was found guilty of an offense under Section 110 of the Environment Act 1990.

Darren Divall was found guilty of discharging flies. Image: Gravesham Council

His conviction follows an investigation by Gravesham Council into a number of fly dumping offenses in October last year, where rubbish was dumped on farmland and land owned by Highways England in the North and West Kent.

A tipper lorry involved in several of the Cobham offenses was identified and later found abandoned in a hotel car park, after being damaged in a flyover on Highways England land near the A2 at Shorene.

Divall, of Bexhill on Sea, was caught by CCTV driving to the scene and trying to recover the vehicle three times, before it was discovered by investigators.

The truck was also found to be fitted with fake plates.

On a later visit to the site, carried out with colleagues from Medway Council and Kent Police, Divall was found working in a room where the fly-tipped waste had come from.

Divall was caught on CCTV trying to remove a truck involved in fly tipping.  Image: Gravesham Council
Divall was caught on CCTV trying to remove a truck involved in fly tipping. Image: Gravesham Council

He was subpoenaed to provide documents regarding his involvement in the fly dumps and the attempted recovery of the vehicle, but refused to provide these documents and did not communicate with the investigators.

The court fined Mr Divall £20,000, awarded full costs of £1,023.74, while Divall was ordered to pay £150 court costs and a victim fine surcharge of £190.

The case follows another successful conviction, which resulted in Minster on Sea’s Phillip Rumsey being fined £20,000 by Medway Magistrates on June 10.

Gravesham Council’s investigation into these offenses is continuing and it is expected that further prosecutions will follow.

Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure, said: ‘We will not tolerate fly tipping and council officers, in partnership with other agencies, will continue to investigate breaches relating to environmental crimes in Gravesham.

Waste landfill on the ground near Cobham.  Image: Gravesham Council
Waste landfill on the ground near Cobham. Image: Gravesham Council

“I hope that the few selfish and reckless criminals who might think of fly tipping or committing other environmental crimes in our borough will reconsider their actions and be deterred.

“This is the second huge fine that has resulted from this huge fly tip at Cobham and Shorene and I am delighted to see substantial fines like this being handed down by the courts.

“I would like to emphasize that we will enforce on public and private lands and seek the full costs for the victims of these crimes from the courts to show our support for those affected.”

You can report fly tipping in Gravesham by going to www.gravesham.gov.uk/flytipping. If you have information relating to an environmental crime in the borough you can email [email protected]