A 70-year-old man has been fined more than £600 for dumping garden waste in a lay-by.

Nicol Handyside, of Emmbrook Road, pleaded guilty to dumping green waste, including tree cuttings, from his van by the side of Twyford Road.

Handyside, a self-employed gardener, admitted to the offence during a voluntary interview at a police station, calling it a stupid error. He claimed that he needed his green waste bags emptied for his next job, and decided to dispose of the waste at the side of the road.

At court, Handyside pleaded guilty to the ‘fly tipping’ offence, was fined £665, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £66 and costs of £807.45.

Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment, sports, environmental health, leisure and libraries, said: “No matter what the waste, or the reasons behind it, fly tipping will never be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly by the council. I hope that the outcome of this case acts as a deterrent to others.

“If you witness any waste being illegally dumped please call (0118) 974 6000 or 0800 212 111 outside of office hours.”