Unlicensed scrap metal dealer fined after being caught on camera trying to flee

An unlicensed scrap metal dealer from Sunderland was caught on camera trying to flee from a council official before being stopped by police.

Friday, 15th April 2016, 5:10 pm
Updated Friday, 15th April 2016, 5:17 pm
Scott White was caught operating as an unlicensed scrap metal dealer

A Durham County Council neighbourhood warden saw a van loaded with scrap metal and a man stood among it driving on a back street.

The warden drove up behind the van but – as the official’s ‘bodycam’ rolled - the man got inside through a window and it moved away.

Police were called to stop the vehicle and driver Scott White, 34, of Potter Square, Sunderland, was found to have no licence to operate as a scrap dealer.

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He has now been ordered to pay a total of £573 by a court following a council prosecution.

Peterlee Magistrates Court heard how at 11.30am on July 29 last year, the warden noticed the white Ford flatbed van travelling around the back streets of South Moor, near Stanley.

A man was stood in the van, which was loaded with scrap including washing machines, a kitchen sink, a wheelbarrow and a chair.

The warden – who was wearing a body camera – drove up behind the vehicle but as he did so the man climbed inside through the passenger side window and it pulled away.

Police were called to stop the van to allow the warden to check that its occupants had a licence to collect scrap.

White was driving the van and when questioned by the warden, admitted he had no such licence. Durham Constabulary had the vehicle towed away due to the defendant not having insurance. It was later returned to him once he had cover in place.

White was instructed to produce waste receipts and transfer notes within seven days but failed to do so. He was also invited to an interview and sent a list of questions but failed to respond.

Subsequent review of the bodycam footage showed White dropping a cigarette butt which he failed to pick up. He was given a fixed penalty notice of £80 but failed to pay it.

White pleaded guilty to three charges – that he threw littler onto the ground and made no attempt to pick it up; operated as a scrap metal dealer without holding a Scrap Metal Collector Licence; and failed to produce when requested to do so copies of controlled waste transfer notes.

He was fined £80 for the litter offence and £120 each for the other two charges. White was also ordered to pay £233.00 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: "By law anyone operating as a scrap metal dealer must have a licence.

"As part of Operation: Stop It, we stop vehicles and check that people have the right licences to operate.

"White not only flouted the law but also attempted to evade our neighbourhood warden.

"He was only stopped by police, with whom we work on an ongoing basis as part of Operation: Stop It.

"White now has criminal convictions and a hefty bill to pay as a result of his actions and this case should act as a lesson to he and anyone else operating in this way that we will not tolerate illegal activity."