COUNCIL chiefs are fuming after a fly-tipper who dumped an old carpet in a street avoided a custodial sentence.

Rodney Fisher, 28, could have been jailed for up to 12 months or been fined £50,000, after being caught fly-tipping in Clacton.

But he was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 costs at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Fisher, of Love Way, Clacton, was spotted dumping the carpet from a lorry, in Holbrook Close, in the early hours of October 29 last year.

An eyewitness noted the vehicle’s registration number and passed the information to the police.

Tendring Council took Fisher to court, and said it was “bitterly disappointed and let down” by the sentence.

Lynda McWilliams, councillor responsible for the environment, said: “This council takes fly-tipping very seriously and has recently appointed an officer in an attempt to investigate and prosecute those who are blighting our district by illegally dumping waste wherever they choose.

“I feel a conditional discharge is a very light sentence for this serious offence and is much less than we would have hoped for.”

Acting head of environmental services, Chris Kitcher, said: “I feel bitterly disappointed over the sentence and feel we have been badly let down.”

It is the second time the council has brought a prosecution for fly-tipping.

On the previous occasion, a conditional discharge was also given, meaning the defendant isn’t punished unless they commit another offence.

Mr Kitcher added: “We are putting considerable resources into investigating and prosecuting such cases, but we do not appear to be backed up by the courts in terms of sentencing.”