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‘Octopus’ flytipper faces £2,500 squid bill

A man has apologised after being caught on camera flytipping in Salford.

Driving a distinctive company van with a blue octopus painted on the side, Anthony Hunter, 40, dumped cardboard waste on Ellor Street in January.

Magistrates were told that Salford City Council CCTV operatives saw the distinctive van, belonging to Octopus Office Products, Stockport, reverse onto land at Elton Street just after 7am on January 5.

It had a cartoon octopus painted on the side with the name of the company in large lettering.

The van was traced to Octopus Office Products Ltd of Chestergate, Stockport and the company provided Mr Hunter’s name and address.

Hunter, of Lord Street, Salford, pleaded guilty at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court to illegally dumping the waste.

He was fined £1,532, ordered to pay costs of £654, compensation of £150 and a victim surcharge of £120 – a total bill of £2,456.

Within hours of dumping cardboard, he found the long arm of the law reaching out to net him.

When interviewed by Salford City Council officers Mr Hunter admitted the offence saying it happened on his first day back at work after Christmas. He had forgotten to take the boxes to the tip for recycling and realised he would not have time to do it that day.

He saw some rubbish and cardboard on the ground and thought “a couple more boxes won’t do any harm” and dumped them. He realised the seriousness of what he’d done once it was too late and said his boss was “disgusted” with him.

Mr Hunter apologised, saying it would not happen again and it made him feel awful thinking about money wasted on cleaning up that could have been spent on care for the elderly or children’s services.

He also apologised in court, saying: “I regret doing it. I was sorry afterwards. It won’t be happening again.”

Speaking after the case, Councillor Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: “If Mr Hunter had just made the time to recycle these boxes properly, he could have saved himself a heavy fine and a criminal record and stopped the council wasting money cleaning up his mess.”

Salford City Council receives 283 reports every month of incidents of illegal dumping/fly-tipping and spends approximately £140,000 every year investigating and clearing up after flytippers.

This cost is met by the council tax and business rate payers of Salford.

This prosecution is as a result of an on-going city wide crackdown called ‘Operation Pandora’ which has so far prosecuted 32 offenders including people from Blackpool, Plymouth, Yorkshire, Sussex and Scotland for 40 offences resulting in fines and costs recovered of £31,000.

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.