Build­ing con­trac­tor ‘hood­winked’ by bo­gus col­lec­tor

Wicklow People - - NEWS -

A BUILD­ING con­trac­tor will avoid a con­vic­tion af­ter he was ‘hood­winked’ by a third party claim­ing to be a le­git­i­mate waste col­lec­tor.

Alan McDon­ald, 146 Sea­son Park, New­town­moun­tkennedy, was be­fore Bray District Court on Thurs­day last to face a ‘trans­fer con­trol of waste’ charge at Bal­li­nahinch Lower, New­town­moun­tkennedy, on Oc­to­ber 22, 2016.

How­ever, af­ter hear­ing the ev­i­dence, Judge David Kennedy said Mr McDon­ald was ‘more or less guilty of naivety’ and had been ‘hood­winked’ by a Thomas Doyle who wasn’t be­fore the court and ap­pears to have left the ju­ris­dic­tion.

Michael Baines, an En­vi­ron­men­tal En­force­ment Of­fi­cer for Wick­low County Coun­cil, re­ceived a re­port of dump­ing at Bal­li­nahinch Lower on Oc­to­ber 22, 2016, and vis­ited the site, where he found that most of the waste present con­sisted of de­mo­li­tion ma­te­ri­als. There was also a sofa, roof tiles and sev­eral black sacks of waste.

A pack­ag­ing ad­dress and health­care let­ter was found in one of the sacks and that per­son was con­tacted and in­vited in for an in­ter­view.

Mr McDon­ald then con­tacted Mr Baines and ex­plained that he was a builder work­ing on be­half of the per­son whose iden­tity was found amongst the dumped ma­te­ri­als.

Mr McDon­ald ac­knowl­edged that he would have been re­spon­si­ble for re­mov­ing any waste from the site. He said he had been ap­proached by Thomas Doyle claim­ing to be a waste col­lec­tor with a valid per­mit.

Mr Baines told the court that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was car­ried out and it didn’t ap­pear that Thomas Doyle had ever owned a waste per­mit li­cence. He is known to Wick­low County Coun­cil over air pol­lu­tion mat­ters, specif­i­cally for sell­ing smoky coal in Bray.

‘Mr McDon­ald did as­sist us. He was hon­est and took full re­spon­si­bil­ity,’ said Mr Baines.

In the wit­ness box, Mr McDon­ald said he was work­ing on ren­o­vat­ing a house when a tran­sit van pulled up with a cage on it. The driver was hand­ing out leaflets and said he had a per­mit to dis­pose of waste.

‘It was Fri­day and I was in a bit of a hurry. I was do­ing the wages and made a bad de­ci­sion by say­ing “yes” to him’ said Mr McDon­ald.

He gave ev­i­dence that Thomas Doyle in­formed him that he didn’t have the waste per­mit li­cence on him but would bring it with him for the next load he was col­lect­ing.

The first load was trans­ported away at around 4.30 p.m. Two hours later Mr McDon­ald met Mr Doyle trav­el­ling along the road but with an empty truck.

‘I re­alised there weren’t any fa­cil­i­ties open to dis­pose of waste at that time so he must have dumped it some­where. I fol­lowed him for a pe­riod but ended up los­ing him,’ said Mr McDon­ald.

He found out where Thomas Doyle lived and called around to his house the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Mr Doyle said the waste was dumped in his back gar­den. When Mr McDon­ald asked if he could see the waste, Mr Doyle told him that it was his girl­friend’s house and her two dogs were out the back so he couldn’t en­ter the rear gar­den with­out her be­ing there. He added that his waste col­lec­tion per­mit was at his fa­ther’s house.

‘I told him please don’t take any more rub­bish away from that home,’ said Mr McDon­ald.

Judge Kennedy noted that Mr Doyle ap­peared to have ‘hood­winked a num­ber of peo­ple’, in­clud­ing Mr McDon­ald.

He or­dered Mr McDon­ald to pay the cost of the clean-up (€516.10) and to make a €500 con­tri­bu­tion to the poor box be­fore ad­journ­ing mat­ters to De­cem­ber 11.

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