Dagenham woman forced to pay £1,000 over rotting waste in garden

Tania Cole of Hedgemans Road, Dagenham refused to tidy up her "unsightly" garden

Tania Cole of Hedgemans Road, Dagenham refused to tidy up her "unsightly" garden - Credit: Barking and Dagenham Council

A Dagenham woman has racked up a bill of £1,000 after refusing to clear up the rotting waste in her garden.

Tania Cole of Hedgemans Road was taken to court by Barking and Dagenham Council after calls for her garden to be cleared "fell on deaf ears".

The council said enforcement officers first visited Ms Cole following a complaint about an "unsightly garden" on August 3, 2018.

The officers found several black bin bags "sprawled across the front garden", as well as an "overflowing and incorrectly used" recycling bin that contained rotting waste.

Despite being given a number of warning letters and being issued a legal notice under s43 of the anti-social behaviour crime and policing act 2014, Ms Cole failed to respond.

The resident was then handed a £100 fixed penalty notice which she did not pay.

In response, a notice of intended prosecution was sent to her in March 2020.

Barking and Dagenham Council took Ms Cole to court over her "unsightly" garden

Barking and Dagenham Council took Ms Cole to court over her "unsightly" garden - Credit: Barking and Dagenham Council

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Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “Eyesore gardens are a blight on our communities and can also be a health risk.

"These kinds of cases send a strong message that no one is above the law, and we will take action.

“Our enforcement officers tried at length to give this person the chance to clean up the mess, but ultimately their efforts fell on deaf ears.

"As a result, it proved to be a very expensive lesson for the individual when it would have been easier, quicker and cheaper to just clear up the mess in the first place.”

Ms Cole did not attend the court hearing on January 11 at Barkingside Magistrates' Court, and she was found guilty in her absence.

The Dagenham woman was ordered to pay a fine of £660, with Barking and Dagenham Council awarded costs of £300 and a £66 victim surcharge.