Am I responsible for a charity donation which has later been fly tipped?

7th Feb 2018

I made a donation of, amongst other items, a ceramic ornament in a padded envelope to a charity shop.  A week later, I received a fixed penalty notice for fly tipping as my name and address on the envelope had been found dumped near the charity shop, along with other items which I did not donate.  I have contested this with the council, saying that I did not commit the act of fly tipping, and that the envelope with my name/address on was donated to and accepted by the charity shop. They rejected my explanation and continue to demand payment.  Am I responsible for this envelope and on what grounds can I contest their accusation? The envelope is their only link to me.

CATEGORY: Criminal

LOCATION: GREATER LONDON

1 answer
  • Kent Criminal Law

    Before issuing a fixed penalty notice, the council enforcement team should have satisfied themselves that there was sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction should the matter be contested before the court. The offence requires that you knowingly deposited or allowed to be deposited, controlled waste without authorisation. The evidence that they have thus far, from what you have said, is that something that may have become controlled waste has a link to you. What the council would normally do is 'interview under caution' to obtain further evidence that you were either the depositor or allowed someone else to deposit. The mere fact that one of the items recovered has a connection to you would unlikely to persuade a court that you were responsible for the deposit. You are not obliged to accept the fixed penalty and if they haven't even interviewed you, I think it unlikely that they would then proceed to prosecution. Make sure that you preserve your correspondence with the council. If you remember who you handed the items to  in the charity shop, it may be as well to ask them now if they have any recollection whilst events are still reasonably fresh. I am assuming that you handed the items in at the shop, rather than just leaving them in a doorway. 

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    Kent Criminal Law

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