Van crushed after being used to fly tip on Cheshire beauty spot

A van that was used to fly-tip on Frodsham marshes in Cheshire has been crushed after being seized by the courts.

The van was taken to be destroyed in Birkenhead, Wirral after its owner, Sean Fagan, 29, of Whitney Road, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to fly-tipping at Chester Magistrates’ Court.

It relates to an incident in 2020, when Fagan lent his van out to a friend, who did the fly tipping.

Officers from Cheshire Police's Rural Crime Team were first called to reports of fly-tipping on Frodsham marshes.

When they arrived the van was found abandoned, with the keys in the ignition along with fresh tyre tracks.

The van after it was seized Credit: Cheshire Police

A scrap washing machine was found inside the van along with rubbish dumped nearby in a drainage ditch on Weaver Lane.

After speaking with witnesses at the scene, it was claimed three men fled the scene on foot, Fagan being one of the men.

Just as they began to leave the scene, officers were made aware of a call from Fagan to 101 who was demanding to know where his vehicle was and wanting it to be returned.

Police immediately seized the van from the scene.

Fagan claimed he had lent his van to a friend and following further investigation he was summonsed to court for the fly-tipping offence.

As Fagan was the registered keeper of the vehicle, under the law he is treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited, even if he knew nothing about it.

He was handed a fine of £180 and ordered to pay court costs of £490 and a £34 victim surcharge.

Police Constable Peter Moss, of Cheshire’s Rural Crime Team, said: “This is a great result for Cheshire Constabulary and local partners in the fight against fly-tipping.

"Fly-tipping is a crime that can affect everyone, not only is the dumping of illegal waste an eyesore but it can be health hazard too, costing thousands in tax-payers money to clean up.

"If fly-tipping isn’t dealt with quickly, I can lead to an increase in littering in areas – that is why we need the support from local residents and communities to ensure that you use legitimate removal companies.

Councillor Karen Shore, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “This is an excellent result in our ongoing operation to tackle fly-tipping.

“The video footage taken when the van was crushed is a clear demonstration of how fly-tipping can turn into a very expensive crime for offenders.

"As well as a fine, you risk losing a vehicle you rely on.

"We will continue to work in partnership with Cheshire Police, and the Environment Agency, to target anyone who chooses to blight our borough with illegally deposited materials.

"Our mobile CCTV cameras are moving around the borough specifically to identify incidents of fly-tipping".