AN UNLICENSED waste collector claimed seven sofas, two toilets, a bath, bed frames, carpets, a fridge, two doors and other items all came from his council house, York magistrates heard.

Simon James Foster, 37, evaded paying £1,669 in fees that commercial operators have to pay when using Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre by making the claims, said Victoria Waudby, prosecuting for City of York Council.

He made the false claims 24 times in five months, including making repeat visits on some days.

Foster, of Pottery Lane, York, denied eight charges of fraud by false representation, one of operating as a waste collector without a licence and one of not keeping written records about waste he had handled.

He skipped bail and did not attend his trial at which he was convicted in his absence.

Following his arrest on warrant, he asked for 16 more offences of fraud by falsely representing that commercially collected items were his personal household waste to be taken into consideration.

He also admitted failure to attend court and possessing a small amount of amphetamine found on him when he was arrested.

Magistrates gave him an 18-month community order with 20 days’ rehabilitative activities and 250 hours’ unpaid work. They also ordered him to pay £1,669 compensation to City of York Council, which runs the dump.

Speaking on behalf of Foster, Nicholas Darwin claimed a second man had offered him some work when money was tight at Foster’s family home.

Foster was paid £10 or £20 cash each time he accompanied the second man to the dump, said Mr Darwin.

In the past Foster had been in trouble when he had a problem with drink and drugs but those days were now behind him.

Mrs Waudby said an unnamed man drove Foster when the defendant visited the dump. But the second man remained in the vehicle at all times and did not unload items. Foster was the only person who filled in paperwork claiming the dumped items were his personal household waste. No one else was prosecuted in connection with the waste disposal.