A MAN has been prosecuted for illegal scrap metal dealing in Abingdon.

Ionel Petcu, of Kirby Road, Winson Green, Birmingham admitted to council officers he was collecting collect scrap metal without the appropriate licences, after being seen driving around the area last November.

He was subsequently found guilty on Tuesday at Oxford Magistrates’ Court of two charges related to dealing in scrap metal without a licence.

He was fined £500 for each offence and ordered to pay a contribution to costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £50.

At around 10.30am on Thursday, November 30 last year two officers of the district council’s environmental protection team were in a council vehicle on Stratton Way, Abingdon when they saw a white Ford Transit Van, with two occupants, appearing to search for scrap metal in residents’ gardens and bin areas.

The council officers spoke to the two men, who confirmed they were collecting collect scrap metal without the appropriate licences.

The driver of the van, Mr Petcu, was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for not having a waste carriers licence and for the unlicensed collection of scrap metal.

Mr Petcu subsequently failed to pay the fixed penalty notice and so the prosecution by the Vale of White Horse District Council legal team followed.

Cllr Elaine Ware, cabinet member for Housing and Environment said: “There are strict laws and regulations around the collection and disposal of scrap metal.

"This is to prevent against metal theft and fly tipping to protect our environment and the area we live in.

“This man’s actions undermine legitimate scrap metal collectors and waste removal companies operating in the Vale.

"I hope this case shows that the council will not tolerate this kind of blatant disregard for the law when it comes to the protection of our environment.”