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A Gillingham resident was recently taken to court for non-payment of a fixed penalty notice that was issued for abandoning a vehicle on a residential road.

Gary Castle, 21, of Wyke, Gillingham was successfully prosecuted at Weymouth Magistrates on 9 January under Section 2A (1) of the Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978, following an investigation by the Council’s Enforcement Team.

On Wednesday 15 May last year, an enforcement officer visited Fairey Crescent in Gillingham, having received a complaint regarding an abandoned vehicle.

A seven-day notice was placed on the windscreen of the vehicle. Following a DVLA check, the officer discovered that the last registered keeper of the vehicle was Mr Castle. A letter was sent to Mr Castle’s home address, requesting removal of the vehicle within seven days and noting that failure to remove it would result in the vehicle being removed and placed in storage.

No response was received from Mr Castle and on 30 May 2019, following a visit by the enforcement officer, the vehicle was still parked on the road. Arrangements were then made for the vehicle to be taken away.

Mr Castle was spoken to in person on the same day and informed of the situation. The enforcement officer issued a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for abandoning a vehicle directly to Mr Castle, to which he responded: ‘I will not be paying the fine’.

On 20 June 2019, a reminder letter was sent to Mr Castle to remind him of his opportunity to pay the FPN. To date, no payment has been received from the defendant in respect of the FPN. The car was not recovered and was subsequently destroyed.

As a result of failing to pay the FPN, Mr Castle was taken to court by Dorset Council’s legal team. He was found guilty and ordered to pay £650 costs.

Councillor Tony Alford, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services at Dorset Council, said: ‘This is a great result for Gillingham residents, and I’d like to thank all the officers involved for their hard work in bringing this case to court.

‘Our Enforcement Team received around 450 reports of abandoned vehicles on Dorset’s roads in the last 12 months. Each of these are investigated by our Enforcement Team, who can issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to those owners who fail to comply with the law. Failure to pay an FPN will result in further action being taken by Dorset Council.

‘Abandoned vehicles are unsightly and annoying for nearby residents, creating further congestion on our roads and other public places. If you suspect a vehicle has been abandoned, please make a note of the registration number and any other descriptive details, and let us know at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/abandoned-vehicles. Thank you.’

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