A Southampton couple drove into the countryside and dumped plasterboard in a layby despite the tip being closer to their home.

Taxi driver Gurvinder Bhakar and his wife Jygoti Bhakar drove about six miles from their house in Clovelly Road, Southampton, to Misselbrook Lane in Chilworth where they dumped eight bags of waste, a court heard.

But the husband and wife were spotted on camera taking the waste out of the boot of the car and “throwing” it into the layby.

They were reported by a member of the public and were later tracked by the authorities through their vehicle registration number.

When spoken to, Gurvinder Bhakar claimed the waste was originally fly-tipped in his garden.

He told Southampton Magistrates’ Court that people “chuck a lot of rubbish” in his garden and that he tried to report it but the council told him he had to pay.

Daily Echo: Gurvinder and Jygoti Bhakar outside Southampton Magistrates' CourtGurvinder and Jygoti Bhakar outside Southampton Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ)

“I just want to say sorry really because I just don’t know what happened that time.

“It is a bit annoying people coming round and doing that. [I was] not thinking.”

But District Judge Timothy Pattinson told him he “could have gone to the local recycling centre” and that fly-tipping “really is the bane of people’s lives”.

He said: “The sensible thing to do is rung up the local authority.

“I do find that for both of you this is a deliberate offence.

“Harm is caused to the environment by fly-tipping. It is becoming an increasing problem.”

Prosecutor Sheelagh Evans, representing Test Valley Borough Council, said: “The travelling time to the local tip, which is three and a half miles from their home, would have taken less time.”

She said the waste “was left in a rural location posing a threat to the wildlife”.

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The incident took place on May 10 last year. Both defendants admitted depositing waste without an environmental permit.

Gurvinder Bhakar, a taxi driver who also drives children with disabilities to and from school, was fined £400 on Friday.

He must pay a £160 surcharge and £400 court costs.

His wife was ordered to pay a £100 fine, £100 court costs and a £40 surcharge.

She told the court: “I just want to say sorry because we had never done it before.

“We never thought about this - whether we should do it or not do it.

“We just did it. I know we should have thought about it.”