Woman fined more than £1,000 for dumping rubbish in her garden

Exasperated neighbours reported her to council

The rubbish in the garden of the Neasden house.

A north London woman has been convicted of fly-tipping - in her own garden.

Regina Sally Fernandes was prosecuted after allowing rubbish including rubble, an old boiler and broken furniture to build up on the patch of land outside her house in Ballogie Avenue, Neasden.

The state of the property had been reported to Brent Council by neighbours, and Ms Fernandes was first issued with a community protection notice - but failed to comply and clear her garden up.

But she's now been sentenced at Willesden Magistrates' Court, and ordered to pay £1,123.50.

"Most residents in Brent 'Love where they live' and make an effort to keep their streets and land clean and green," says the council's cabinet member for the environment, Eleanor Southwood.

"That's why it's completely unacceptable when neighbours do not clear up large amounts of waste outside their properties. It brings down the appearance of the area and everyone suffers."

Speaking to MailOnline, Ms Fernandes claimed that the rubbish had been dumped by builders and passers-by while she was away on business, and says she plans to appeal.

But, says Brent's enviro-crime manager Dennis Lewis, the council plans to stand firm in cleaning up the borough.

"We will investigate complaints of untidy land, littering or illegally dumped rubbish and will take all necessary measures to investigate the incidents and will not hesitate to prosecute the offenders," he says.

According to the latest statistics, local authorities around the country dealt with a whopping 900,000 reports of fly-tipping during 2014/15. Around half of these cases involved rubbish dumped on roads, although the number of cases involving private land appears to be increasing.

In one recent case, a Polish man spent two years on a fruitless series of appeals after being ordered to clean up his garden. Andrzej Jonski claimed that his land had been filled with rubbish by his 'enemies' and that the council was being racist in ordering him to clear it up.

Fly-tipping can lead to a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates' court - or an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in a crown court.

And the bad news is that, whoever has dumped the rubbish, it's the land-owner who is responsible for clearing it up.

Woman Faces Legal Fines For Flower Garden

Inside the rubbish filled flat

Inside the rubbish filled flat