‘Bin rooters’ land musician in hot water

Mark Sharples of Fleetwood is furious after bin rooters left him accused of fly-tipping.
Mark Sharples of Fleetwood is furious after bin rooters left him accused of fly-tipping.

A Fleetwood man says he has been unfairly blamed for fly-tipping after intruders got into his back yard and ripped through bin bags.

Mark Sharples, of Warren Street, was contacted by a Wyre Council official who told him his details were on items found strewn in the street and he was liable to be handed a fixed penalty notice.

It appears that items such as old mail, books and other household waste had spilled out into a nearby alleyway.

Mr Sharples told the officer he had been the victim of “bin rooters” and had photographic evidence to prove it, after he chased one of the culprits and took his picture.

Civil servant Mr Sharples says that although Wyre Council seemed to accept his story, they have still sent him a formal notice, by post, and his name is now down on record.

He said: “I am absolutely livid about this because I am the victim in all this, yet I am now down on record with the council.

“I’ve lived in this flat for years and have always kept my bin bags tidy in the back yard, until collection days.

“Now my yard is strewn with rubbish because these people have got into my back yard and left a shocking mess, which I am having to tidy up.

“Being on record, this could now come back to haunt me at a later date, yet I have done nothing wrong.

“The council seemed to accept that, but I have still been sent a document given me a warning.”

Mr Sharples, a well-known Fylde coast musician who plays guitar in a Bob Marley tribute band, became aware that intruders were in his back yard early last week.

He took photos of them from an upstairs window and gave chase to one of the men.

Using his mobile phone he was able to snap good quality pictures of one of suspect and has forwarded it to the police, but was unable to apprehend him because the man’s small black dog tried to bite him.

Mr Sharples added: “Ideally, I would like the council to accept my position and withdraw my name from its records.”

A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “This incident has been reported to the police and we are working with them to investigate. “We’ve also advised Mr Sharples on how to correctly segregate his rubbish and which containers to use to help reduce the risk of this happening again.

“Ensuring that bags are placed in wheelie bins and only put out on the day of collection greatly reduces the number of torn rubbish bags and the contents being strewn around.

“Failure to follow these guidelines can cause recurrent litter problems which could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice however our policy is to educate people on how to prevent these issues from arising.

“We’d also like to remind residents to refrain from placing any documents containing personal information in their rubbish, as this is often what criminals are looking for.”