A rogue scrap dealer who tried to escape from a police interview, has been fined over £800 after he was found to be running his business without a licence.
Jamie Parker, 35, from Quantock Place in Peterlee, was caught in a sting operation being run by Durham County Council Trading Standards and Durham Constabulary.
Parker was stopped at the weighbridge at Wellfield in County Durham on February 3, after he was seen driving a vehicle loaded with what appeared to be scrap metal.
He told officials that he did have a Scrap Metal Collectors Licence but didn’t have it on him.
Further checks showed that he did not hold a licence and he was taken in to be interviewed under caution.
During the interview, Mr Parker walked back out to his van as if he was going to try to drive off and police had to bring him back to complete the interview, during which he told officers he hadn't collected the metal but had been given it by a friend.
After the interview Mr Parker's vehicle was weighed and he drove off.
He failed to attend his court hearing at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court and in his absence he was found guilty of carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer when not authorised by a licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
Mr Parker was fined £660 with a £66 victim surcharge and charged £130 legal costs, which he has 14 days to pay.
Durham County Council’s consumer protection manager, Owen Cleugh, said: “We do not tolerate rogue traders of any kind in County Durham and we work on a regular basis with our partners including colleagues from Durham Constabulary on operations of this kind.
“Anyone carrying scrap metal as part of their business must hold a licence in accordance with the Scrap Metal Dealer’s Act. When we find those who operate in the County without a licence we will take the appropriate action. If anyone has any information regarding possible unlicensed scrap metal dealers we would urge them to report matters to the Council”
People with information about scrap dealers operating without a licence should email email@example.com or by calling 03000 260099.