A MAN has been fined thousands of pounds for operating a vehicle scrapyard without a permit.

Ronald Coulson Vincent Grieveson, 23, of Forest Hall, Newcastle, appeared at the city's magistrates’ court in a prosecution brought by the Environment Agency.

He pleaded guilty to illegally storing and treating waste vehicles and parts without a permit. He was fined £3,628, and ordered to pay costs of £3,273.58 and a victim surcharge of £362.

Chris Bunting, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court Grieveson had been operating an illegal waste site at Unit C, Grieveson Industrial Estate, Byker, without an environmental permit.

Environment Agency officers visited the site in November 2016 and saw oil seeping from loose car engines onto the concrete and into a combined sewer system nearby. Grieveson was told to stop illegal activities and stop oil leaking off site.

On a further visit a month later, Environment Officers found oil continued to leak off site from engines left on the concrete surface. More car engines were stored in a red skip and various car parts and tyres were stored elsewhere on the site.

Grieveson was issued with a legal notice warning him to stop all illegal activity on site and remove all waste by January 16 2017. Yet, when officers returned again on February 27 2017 they found little had changed.

Jack Lovell, mitigating, said Grieveson realised he had been naïve and foolishly thought he could operate legally with just a waste carrier’s licence. Photographs showed the site now cleared of waste.

Jamie Fletcher, Area Environment Manager, Environment Agency, said: “It is important that waste materials are stored, handled and disposed of correctly to protect the environment and safeguard human health. The defendant in this case continued to operate outside the law despite numerous warnings, and by handling un-depolluted vehicles and parts, he caused pollution.”

Anyone who has information about waste crimes can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.