A SPY camera caught the moment a plumber dumped a pile of waste in an Oxfordshire layby.

Tradesman Neil Bishop, 44, of Millwood End, Long Hanborough, reversed his van up to gates leading off a layby close to Chesterton.

After a quick look around to check no one was watching, Bishop quickly unloaded his pile of piping, an old shower tray and some packaging.

But he didn't realise he was being secretly filmed by a tiny hidden spy camera designed to catch flytippers - and officers from Cherwell District Council soon tracked him down.

When interviewed under caution by Cherwell's officers, Bishop admitted fly-tipping.

The footage was shown at Bicester Magistrates' Court, when Bishop was fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of more than £440.

As well as pleading guilty to flytipping, he also admitted not having a waste carriers' licence.

Cherwell's executive member for the environment, Kieron Mallon, said: "In Cherwell district we take this kind of thing very seriously.

"Our officers carrying out environmental enforcement are working more and more successfully as they use advanced strategies, including using hidden spy cameras to get really good evidence.

"The benefit of this kind of evidence is that the courts can see the film and there is no doubt about the irresponsible attitude of flytippers when seen on film.

"This is another instance that shows that Cherwell District Council is determined to crack down on environmental crime - and serves as a reminder for traders who carry waste to obtain the appropriate licences."

Cherwell's environment enforcement officer Steve Vicary said he could not disclose exactly how or where the cameras were hidden for operational reasons.

Last June, Oxfordshire County Council revealed it was using sophisticated surveillance equipment in its fight against flytippers while Ardley Tip was closed for refurbishment.

Other councils across the UK are reported to have concealed similar cameras in drinks cans and cigarette packets.