A court has ordered a woman who claimed fly tippers dumped trash in her garden to pay for the rubbish to be cleared from her property.

Cheryl Pandis, from Morden, said she returned home from holiday in August 2010 to discover her fence broken down, a pile of rubbish dumped by fly tippers and a letter from the council instructing her to clear the site in Borough Road, Mitcham.

After ordering one skip, Mrs Pandis said she was shocked to be told it would take a further eight to clear the site at a cost of £1,000 - which she said she was unable to afford.

She said: "We contacted police because the fence had been broken down and explained to Merton Council but no one could help.

"The only thing we were told by Merton Council was that it was our land and we were obliged to clear it."

Two years later the rubbish had not been cleared and Mrs Pandis was taken to court by the council.

She added: "I’m a victim of criminal damage and I’m the one that’s being prosecuted.

"It seems the fly tippers are carrying on and there’s nothing to protect me or to catch the fly tippers."

A spokesperson for Merton Council said: "Merton Council takes cases of illegal dumped rubbish very seriously. "This has been a long-running enforcement case and we welcome the court’s decision.

"We will continue to investigate and, where necessary, prosecute anyone who carries out an environmental offence."

Mrs Pandis was fined £400 and ordered to pay Merton Council’s costs of £960.