A Merseyside man has been prosecuted for flytipping a large amount of boxes next to a stubble field in West Lancashire and setting fire to them when parts of the country were suffering serious wildfires.
Wigan Magistrates Court heard that Adam Stanton, of Coronation Drive, Crosby, was one of the occupants of a van seen by witnesses fly tipping a large amount of boxes onto New Causeway, Great Altcar, West Lancashire.
They then set fire to this waste before leaving the scene, leaving the waste on fire next to a stubble field.
This incident took place in the summer of 2018 when the UK was experiencing an extremely hot and dry spell of weather and major wildfires had taken place in different parts of the country.
The court was told that West Lancashire Borough Council officers traced the vehicle back to Mr Stanton. He was interviewed by Council officers in relation to this case and admitted that he was driving the vehicle and was responsible for this waste being tipped. When it was highlighted to him the possible danger of setting fire to this waste could have caused he stated that he thought it might rain.
After he repeated his belief in court that he thought it might rain, the magistrates' responded by saying: "Unless he had been living in a different world they were at odds to understand how he was not aware that fires had been a significant problem nationally at the time he committed the offence and the potential harm he could have caused."
Mr Stanton pleaded guilty to fly tipping and to failing to comply with a legal notice asking him for details of who else was in the vehicle. He was ordered to carry out 250 hours community service and to meet up with a probation officer 10 times. The court told him he would have to pay £628.56 costs and an £85 victim surcharge making a total of £713.56.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: "Fly tipping is a criminal offence, and the severity of the sentence given here highlights this. The fact that the waste was set alight next to a stubble field during a time when the country was experiencing a number of wildfires caused by a prolonged period of hot weather adds to the serious nature of this incident.
"The Council takes fly tipping very seriously and will take action against offenders wherever possible."