Camera catches man dumping chemicals near Burnham Beeches

A pest control professional expressed remorse after dumping chemicals at the side of the road in Burnham.

Stephen Nice, 48, formerly of Church Street, Theale, Reading, pleaded guilty at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on 27 September 2017 to an offence of depositing waste at Thompkins Lane, Burnham.

The court heard that on 22 April 2017 a surveillance camera targeting fly-tipping in the Burnham Beeches area recorded images showing a man pouring chemical liquid from a spray bottle on Thompkins Lane. The investigator from the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire was concerned to see that the man was wearing protective clothing as he poured the liquid away. The van was traced by the registration number to a pest control firm.  The firm identified the operative as Stephen Nice.

When interviewed at a police station, Mr Nice admitted the deposit of the liquid.  He explained that it was a disinfectant used in his work which was normally made up to a specific required quantity so that there would not be any excess.  In this case he had not used it all and needed to dispose of the rest before he arrived at his next appointment. Mr Nice further explained that the chemical is toxic in the aquatic environment and cannot be poured down a drain. He expressed shock and remorse at what he had done.  He confirmed that his employer was not involved and that there was general dismay at work over his actions.

A significant quantity - estimated to be at least three litres - was poured from the five litre capacity bottle, and formed a visible puddle on the ground. Remedial action was taken by the authorities by excavating the affected area.

The Magistrates fined Mr Nice £666, and ordered clean-up and prosecution costs to be paid in the sum of £1,445.  A victim surcharge of £66 was also levied - making a total to pay of £2,177.

Since November 2003 the Waste Partnership for Buckinghamshire  has secured over 620 convictions against individuals and companies for illegal dumping and related offences. This has resulted in a significant saving to the Buckinghamshire taxpayer over the period, principally through reduced removal and disposal costs.

If you see any dumped waste please report it as soon as possible online at www.buckscc.gov.uk