A WOMAN who left an armchair outside a charity shop before driving off has been fined £180 after being prosecuted for fly-tipping.

Charlotte Bradman, 26, of Lyon Street, Queensbury, left the chair at the rear of the Springfield Furniture Project in Oakworth Road, Keighley, then drove off without telling staff what she had done.

She was fined £180 and ordered to pay £570 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge by Bradford magistrates after being convicted of depositing controlled waste without a licence.

She had denied the charge.

Project manager Gary O’Hara said the chair was soiled and unwanted by the charity, and had to be taken to the tip.

“It is a big problem, people just dumping things without making contact or asking somebody,” he said.

“We do have signs telling people not to dump things outside.”

The court was shown CCTV footage of Bradman depositing the chair on the loading bay of the project’s premises and driving off without entering the building or speaking to a member of staff.

She said she’d dropped off items of furniture in the same area previously without telling the staff.

And she refuted claims the chair was soiled.

“It was in excellent condition and I wanted it to benefit the community,” said Bradman.

But Bradford Council prosecutor Harjit Ryatt said that by not giving project staff the opportunity to inspect the chair and decide whether they wanted it or not, Bradman hadn’t taken all reasonable steps to ensure that she was donating the chair rather than fly-tipping.

After the case, Council enforcement officers warned people not to dump items outside charity shops without checking first that the goods would be accepted.

A Council spokesperson said: “There is a big problem in the district with people getting rid of stuff by dumping it outside charity projects and shops without checking whether the charity wants it or not.

“In many cases the charity ends up having to take stuff to the tip themselves, which costs time and resources. Rather than helping a charitable cause, dumping stuff outside without asking whether it is wanted – or leaving items when the charity is closed – is costing the charity money.

“People acting with good intentions can contribute to the problems caused by fly-tippers across the district.”