A scrap metal dealer has been left with a fine and a criminal record for trading without a licence.
Callum Burrell, 27, of Houghton, has been prosecuted by Durham County Council, following a hearing at Newton Aycliffe magistrates.
The court heard how on Friday, February 2, council officers were carrying out a joint operation with Durham Constabulary to check compliance with legislation on the collection of scrap metal.
The council workers inspected a van which Burrell, 27, of Avon Avenue, had been driving at Delaval in Chester-le-Street and found it to contain scrap metal including bikes and a
Burrell told the officers he was a refuse collector and had collected the items.
However when was he asked to produce his scrap collector’s licence he stated that he did not have one.
Burrell was absent from court where magistrates found him guilty of operating without a licence.
He was fined £69, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and costs of £200.
Joanne Waller, the council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “Anyone collecting scrap metal must have a valid licence.
"The legislation is aimed at reducing and preventing theft of metal and allowing officers to be able to trace where it is collected from and disposed of.
"This case proves that we will take action against unlicenced dealers and I hope the criminal record and financial penalty will serve as a warning to others who may be tempted to flout the law.”
To find out how to apply for a licence visit http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/2173/Scrap-metal-dealers-licence