The owner of an abandoned vehicle was ordered to pay a total of £2,636.35 in fines, costs and victim surcharge following a successful prosecution by Wiltshire Council at Salisbury Magistrates Court on May 20.

The vehicle owner, Martin Mildenhall of Ramsbury, Marlborough, left the vehicle dumped in a car park in Ramsbury near Marlborough. The vehicle had no tax, no MOT and there was no permission from the landowner to store the vehicle in the car park.

Environmental enforcement officers traced the vehicle owner through their live DVLA system and written notifications were sent to Mr Mildenhall. He did not respond to any letters or notices that were sent to him, which resulted in a fixed penalty notice of £200 being issued. Mr Mildenhall ignored this fixed penalty and also failed to turn up in court. The council prosecuted Mr Mildenhall as a result of the non-payment of the fixed penalty and he was found guilty in his absence under the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 at Salisbury Magistrates Court.

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste, said: “Abandoned vehicles cause a significant environmental hazard and will not be tolerated in Wiltshire. This prosecution makes it clear to everyone that we take this issue very seriously.

“We will investigate reports of abandoned vehicles and take formal action against the owners who dump their vehicles and consider it acceptable for taxpayers to foot the bill for responsible removal and disposal.”

It is a criminal offence to abandon a vehicle under Section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978. A person found guilty of such an offence may be punished on summary conviction with a fine of up to £2,500 or a term not exceeding three months’ imprisonment or both. The council can also issue fixed penalty notices of £200 as an alternative to prosecution.

You can report abandoned vehicles using the My Wiltshire online reporting or by calling 0300 456 0100.