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Human Womble sifts through Great Yarmouth rubbish

PUBLISHED: 09:48 11 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

Anthony Carroll

A 74-year-old man labelled as a Human Womble has been found guilty of strewing rubbish along a Great Yarmouth road.



Dennis Bostock would rip open black bin bags by Yarmouth seafront and rummage through their contents before throwing the waste around.

A 74-year-old man labelled as a Human Womble has been found guilty of strewing rubbish along a Great Yarmouth road.

Dennis Bostock would rip open black bin bags by Yarmouth seafront and rummage through their contents before throwing the waste around.

Yesterday as he was convicted of five counts of disturbing waste, magistrates heard that he may even have taken thrown out food and cooked it for himself.

And as magistrates fined him £1,750 and considered giving him an antisocial behaviour order(ASBO) they heard he had hit national headlines when he was described as a Human Womble while he lived in his previous home in Blackpool.

Bostock, who lives in a bed and breakfast in Apsley Road, had featured on television programmes such as Neighbours From Hell and a Life of Grime for filling his Blackpool home with rubbish.

He was also given an ASBO in the northern resort for continually sorting through rubbish.

Yarmouth Magistrates Court heard that on many occasions this year Bostock had disturbed black bin bags in a service road between Apsley Road and Marine Parade between 3am and 4am on Fridays.

He was caught on Majestic Amusements' CCTV system five times sifting through and then throwing the rubbish around between March and June.

Angry neighbours also provided several witness statements to the council about Bostock's antisocial actions.

Nicola Swan, prosecuting for Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The defendant was seen ripping open bin bags, riffling through them and then strewing the rubbish along the street.

“I am told he has sometime cooked some of the rubbish.”

Mrs Swan said Bostock had been visited by police and an environmental ranger to warn him about his behaviour and how he could be harmed from sifting through rubbish.

She said: “He was not particularly receptive to that visit and to the advice given.”

During the hearing Mrs Swan produced press reports of Bostock's behaviour in Blackpool where he was called the Human Womble.

He had been given a three year ASBO in 2007 for disturbing rubbish and had many previous convictions including disorderly behaviour, assault and criminal damage.

Bostock did not attend yesterday's hearing and was convicted in his absence. The court heard that he lived in a bed and breakfast and seemed in reasonable health.

Checks had been made with a mental health team but nothing was flagged up.

He is now due to appear before magistrates on Tuesday when an application will be made for a criminal ASBO to be made banning him from interfering with rubbish.

If the ASBO is approved the order will also ban Bostock from leaving out piles of bread crumbs for birds to eat in the early hours of the morning.

Although not said in court, neighbours had complained to the borough council that their lives were being made hell because of the flocks of noisy sea gulls attracted to the area by the bread crumbs.

Tony Pugh, who lives in Apsley Road, said after the case: “We are living like zombies because of the lack of sleep.”

Environmental ranger Kerry Hemsworth said: “The borough council is very pleased with the outcome of this case.

“This person has created a lot of mess, distress and expense to the local ratepayer with his behaviour.

“We would like to thank the local residents and business owners who provided the evidence for us to be able to obtain these convictions.”

Anyone who wants to report flytipping and people interfering or tampering with other people's rubbish should contact the environmental rangers team on 01493 846478.

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