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Man receives £1,200 bill for not clearing up after his dog

Posted on Monday 13 November 2017

A Gateshead resident who failed to clean up after his dog has been fined £660 and instructed to pay more than £500 in costs.

Paul Richard Hawley, of Rawling Road, Gateshead failed to react to repeated complaints about the accumulations of dog faeces, refuse and the odour of dog urine and faeces in his back yard, resulting in Gateshead Council serving an abatement notice on him.

Complaints were received by the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team about the pungent odour of urine and faeces from Mr Hawley’s yard.  One neighbour told officers that they were not able to keep their window open during the summer months due to both the smell and the flies.

Council officers urged Mr Hawley to clean up his act and visited his home regularly to see that he did – but any improvement was usually short-lived.

Mr Hawley was given a number of written warnings by the Council, and his landlord was also contacted in an attempt to encourage him to change his behaviour, but the warnings were largely ignored.

In April 2017, a formal abatement notice was served on Mr Hawley under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, requiring him to clean and disinfect the yard and to keep it clean. However, when a Council officer re-visited 2 weeks later, the yard was found to be in an even worse state.

The cleaning and disinfection of the yard was later organised by his landlord but further complaints about the yard were again received.

Mr Hawley was subsequently charged with failing to comply with, and repeatedly breaching, an abatement notice served under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The case was heard at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court this Wednesday (8 November).

Mr Hawley failed to attend the court and prosecution case was heard in his absence.

Magistrates were presented with evidence and photographs of the deposits in the yard and accepted that Mr Hawley had ignored the many warnings issued to him by Gateshead Council. They found the case was proven and fined Mr Hawley £660, ordering that he also pays costs of £557 to Gateshead Council.

Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:

“Repeatedly breaching an abatement notice served under the Environmental Protection Act is a serious matter and I’m pleased the magistrates have taken such a firm stance.

“The Act is there to protect ordinary people and in this case Mr Hawley’s neighbours clearly needed the protection of the law. Ignoring our repeated warnings to clean up his back yard was not acceptable. “