A man who bullied vulnerable Yorkshire residents into paying him to get rid of their rubbish when instead he was illegally fly-tipping just around the corner from their homes has been jailed
James Upton, 24, with the help of his friend Kieron Yates, 19, would approach houses in the Barnsley area of South Yorkshire uninvited and intimidate vulnerable residents into paying them for removing waste, which was then dumped illegally.
Their deceit was uncovered when Barnsley Council's enforcement ream were investigating fly-tipping that followed similar patterns - where waste would be taken away in rubbish bins which were abandoned in the area and later found dumped close to the victim;s home.
Upton, of no fixed address, and Yates, of Evelyn Terrace, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to charges under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for depositing controlled waste and for transporting waste without a licence, when they both appeared at the town's magistrates court on Monday.
Upton was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and fined £2,195.
Yates was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months. He must also complete 200 hours unpaid work and also ordered to pay £2,197 in costs.
Both men are now subject to Criminal Behaviour Orders with terms prohibiting them from offering to remove waste in future.
Read more: The Yorkshire Post says: Fly-tipping shame – Yorkshire woods at risk from dumped rubbish
Head of Service for Safer Communities Paul Brannan said he hopes the sentence handed to both men will send out a warning to others considering fly-tipping.
Mr Brannan said: "Both Upton and Yates were intimidating vulnerable people into parting with their money to get rid of waste which they were just dumping.
"It is fairly rare for custodial sentences to be handed out for fly-tipping offences and I hope this serves as a warning to anyone who feels it is OK to exploit vulnerable people and to dump waste in public areas.
"It is absolutely vital people know that we are and we will pursue fly-tippers where we have information and evidence to suggest someone is taking part in this sort of activity. This has taken a long time to get to where it has as we were reliant on building a strong case with residents themselves helping us by sharing their experiences.
"One real positive we can take is that we all came together to make sure justice was served."