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Illegal trader runs out of luck after telling warden to 'jog on'.

Byline: Tom Ough Reporter

A VAN driver told officials to "jog on" when he was asked for proof of his right to sell scrap metal, a court heard.

John McDonagh appeared before magistrates for illegally selling the metal after being prosecuted by Durham County Council.

Peterlee Magistrates' Court heard how a neighbourhood warden approached McDonagh, who was driving a Ford Transit van carrying scrap metal and garden waste in the Consett area last June.

The warden asked to see McDonagh's Environment Agency certificate but was told to "jog on" before he drove off, the court was told.

He was later stopped by police and placed in handcuffs after refusing to give his details again.

McDonagh did not comply with a legal notice requiring proof of legal waste transfer and disposal.

Two fixed penalty notices of PS300 were issued, which remain unpaid. On the same day, Peterlee magistrates heard how Jonathan Hepple failed to produce waste receipts and a waste carrier's licence while carrying scrap metal in Consett town centre in July 2015, Although he later produced the receipts, checks with the Environment Agency also revealed that he wasn't registered to carry controlled waste.

Hepple was issued with a PS300 fixed penalty notice, which remains unpaid.

And magistrates in Consett heard how Connor Smith was caught out without a scrap metal licence after he was seen driving a vehicle carrying scrap metal in the Stanley area.

A notice was sent to him by post but checks con-firmed Smith had not responded and he was issued with a PS300 fixed penalty notice, which has not been paid.

Apologising for his behaviour and saying he did not receive the fixed penalty notice owing to problems receiving post, McDonagh, 35, of Sherburn Terrace, Consett, admitted failing to produce waste transfer notes. He was fined PS40 and ordered to pay PS130 costs and a PS20 victim surcharge.

Hepple, 29, of Dipton, Consett, failed to attend court and was found guilty in his absence of transporting controlled waste when not a registered carrier.

He was fined PS330 and ordered to pay PS130 costs and a PS33 victim surcharge.

Smith, 25, of Longacre, Houghton-le-Spring, pleaded guilty to failing to produce waste transfer notes and was fined PS180 and ordered to pay PS130 costs and a PS20 victim surcharge.

In his defence, magistrates heard he didn't receive the documents as he wasn't living at the address they were sent to and he would have paid the fixed penalty notice if he had.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council's neighbourhood protection manager, said: "These cases show how important it is to have the right documents if you are carrying waste. If you don't you could end up in court with a fine. As part of Operation Stop, our multi-agency campaign against waste crime, we carry out regular stop-and-checks of vehicles transporting waste, so be warned: if you haven't got a licence we will take action."

In 2013, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act was voted into law, requiring all scrap metal dealers to be licensed.

Metal theft from sources as disparate as churches and railway tracks had become an increasingly vexed issue.

Household waste can be taken to household waste recycling centres, and local authorities can arrange bulky waste collections. Contact your council for details.


| A number of scrap-dealing licence cases have been heard by magistrates in Durham
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 11, 2016
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