A Burton homeowner has cost the taxpayer more than £900 to remove his dangerous wall after refusing to bulldoze the structure himself, it has been revealed.
Andrea Gagliardi, of All Saints Road, whose home also borders Oak Street, was asked by council chiefs to remove his wall, which runs alongside a pavement in Oak Street, but he refused to respond.
East Staffordshire Borough Council was then forced to fence off the pavement next to the wall because of the risk of it collapsing. The borough council then brought the case to North Staffordshire Justice Centre to seek permission to remove the structure, which also borders the garden, after Mr Gagliardi refused to respond.
The council was given approval and Gagliardi was told he had seven days to remove his wall. However, he did not appear in court and did not remove the wall in the given time-frame, forcing the council to carry out the work at a cost of £940 which it is hoping to claw back from Gagliardi.
In the past, he has been the subject of court hearings after he was prosecuted three times by the borough council in response to complaints received regarding the state of his garden and property.
He was found guilty in his absence at Stafford Magistrates' Court last year of failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice requiring him to keep his land and property tidy.
It led to concerns from members of the public, with an anonymous resident claiming a tree had collapsed onto the pavement and saying it could seriously injure someone if the wall is not removed. There was a concern raised by Councillor Syed Hussain, who represents the Anglesey ward.
A spokesman for the borough council said: "The council received a complaint regarding a boundary wall at 59 All Saints Road, Burton. Following an inspection from a council officer, it was deemed that the wall was dangerous, leaning towards the pavement due to the effect of the adjacent trees on the foundations.
"With public safety in mind, the council arranged for the footpath adjacent to the wall to be fenced off due to the very likely risk of collapse and sought to contact the owner to discuss removing the wall.
"The council applied to the courts to remove the wall and recover costs from the owner. The court found the owner guilty and approved the removal of this wall by the council.
"As the owner did not remove the wall themselves, or contact the council, a contractor was appointed and the wall was removed."
The cost to remove the wall was £940 and a council spokesman said it was in the process of recovering the costs. Gagliardi was also ordered to pay £855 court costs.
A Burton Mail reporter visited the home but no-one was at home at the time. Half the wall has been removed with cracks appearing in the remaining half. The garden is still overgrown.