Illegal scrap metal collectors fined

Scrap metal

Two illegal scrap collectors have been prosecuted by Gateshead Council for operating without a license.

Graeme Rutherford of Malone Gardens in Birtley and Benjamin Cahill of Thorneyburn Close, Houghton Le Spring were both convicted at Gateshead Magistrates' Court last week on separate charges of operating as unlicensed scrap collectors.

In April last year, Mr Cahill had been observed by residents to be driving down back lanes in Gateshead with a colleague on the back of his pick-up peering over walls and then collecting scrap uninvited from people's rear yards.

Concerned residents reported him to Gateshead Council and the council's Enforcement Team investigated, quickly discovering that Cahill was not licensed to collect scrap in Gateshead.

Benjamin Cahill attended Gateshead Magistrates' Court last week and pleaded guilty to operating without a license. He was fined £190 with costs of £300.

Mr Rutherford was already known to Gateshead Council as a result of previous scrap offences, but in October 2018 the council received information that he was continuing to collect scrap metal without a license. Mr Rutherford had previously held a licence to collect scrap but had allowed it to lapse in January 2017 and never renewed it.

Further investigations revealed that during the time his license had lapsed he had weighed-in scrap at a local metal recycling firm in Blaydon on no less than 273 occasions.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 - find out moreMr Rutherford was invited to attend an interview at Gateshead Civic Centre but failed to attend. He was therefore prosecuted.

In a previous case in September 2017, magistrates had found Mr Rutherford guilty in his absence of operating as an unlicensed scrap metal collector and fined him £1,400 plus £200 costs and £120 Victim Surcharge. Last week, facing the self-same charges, magistrates found Mr Rutherford guilty once more, again in his absence, and fined him £2,640, with costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £140.

Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:

"Operating an unlicensed scrap business is a serious offence. Licensing is important because it ensures that the public do not unwittingly trade with criminals.

"Licenced scrap collectors are required by law to issue waste transfer notes which are essential in ensuring that everything is fully traceable and that legitimate metal recyclers are not unknowingly handling stolen goods. Unlicensed scrap collectors typically don't issue these notes and that's illegal, but it also masks where the scrap may have been obtained and whether they had permission to take it.

"I am pleased to see that the court has taken a firm line with both of these unlicensed operators."

Pile of scrap metal
19 March 2019

Two illegal scrap collectors have been prosecuted by Gateshead Council for operating without a license.

Graeme Rutherford of Malone Gardens in Birtley and Benjamin Cahill of Thorneyburn Close, Houghton Le Spring were both convicted at Gateshead Magistrates' Court last week on separate charges of operating as unlicensed scrap collectors.

In April last year, Mr Cahill had been observed by residents to be driving down back lanes in Gateshead with a colleague on the back of his pick-up peering over walls and then collecting scrap uninvited from people's rear yards.

Concerned residents reported him to Gateshead Council and the council's Enforcement Team investigated, quickly discovering that Cahill was not licensed to collect scrap in Gateshead.

Benjamin Cahill attended Gateshead Magistrates' Court last week and pleaded guilty to operating without a license. He was fined £190 with costs of £300.

Mr Rutherford was already known to Gateshead Council as a result of previous scrap offences, but in October 2018 the council received information that he was continuing to collect scrap metal without a license. Mr Rutherford had previously held a licence to collect scrap but had allowed it to lapse in January 2017 and never renewed it.

Further investigations revealed that during the time his license had lapsed he had weighed-in scrap at a local metal recycling firm in Blaydon on no less than 273 occasions.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 - find out moreMr Rutherford was invited to attend an interview at Gateshead Civic Centre but failed to attend. He was therefore prosecuted.

In a previous case in September 2017, magistrates had found Mr Rutherford guilty in his absence of operating as an unlicensed scrap metal collector and fined him £1,400 plus £200 costs and £120 Victim Surcharge. Last week, facing the self-same charges, magistrates found Mr Rutherford guilty once more, again in his absence, and fined him £2,640, with costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £140.

Anneliese Hutchinson, service director for Development, Transport and Public Protection, says:

"Operating an unlicensed scrap business is a serious offence. Licensing is important because it ensures that the public do not unwittingly trade with criminals.

"Licenced scrap collectors are required by law to issue waste transfer notes which are essential in ensuring that everything is fully traceable and that legitimate metal recyclers are not unknowingly handling stolen goods. Unlicensed scrap collectors typically don't issue these notes and that's illegal, but it also masks where the scrap may have been obtained and whether they had permission to take it.

"I am pleased to see that the court has taken a firm line with both of these unlicensed operators."

More Gateshead news

Share this page