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District council one of first to secure conviction under Scrap Metal Dealers Act

Cannock Chase District Council is thought to have become one of the first local authorities in the country to prosecute a scrap metal dealer successfully after he failed to keep proper records.

Environmental Health and Licensing officers at the council attended Daniel Parnum’s premises on Progress Drive in Cannock in 2014 to carry out a site inspection.

This followed receipt of information from Staffordshire Police concerning metal cabling that had been stolen from a works upgrade on the M6.

According to Cannock Chase, a quantity of copper cabling was found at Parnum’s premises but he could not provide any records or paperwork to verify its origin.

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The local authority said it had written to the defendant in 2013 and 2014 explaining the strict record keeping requirements with which he needed to comply.

He was charged with three offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013:

  1. failing to keep any records relating to the receipt of metal cabling found at his premises;
  2. failing to keep any records relating to the disposal of the same metal cabling from his premises; and
  3. failing to verify the name and address of the supplier of the scrap cabling.

Parnum, from Walsall, was convicted of the three offences at Cannock Magistrates Court on 19 May 2015.

The court fined the defendant £2,000 for each of the first two offences and £750 for the third. Parnum was also ordered to pay £420 to Cannock Chase for costs and a victim surcharge of £100. He was ordered to pay these sums within 28 days.

Cllr Alan Dudson, Environment Portfolio Leader at Cannock Chase, said: “The reason this legislation was introduced was to deal with the huge extent of metal thefts. The council has brought this prosecution because the scrap metal dealer failed to keep proper records, which is a fundamental breach of this legislation.

“Our officers worked hard to gain all of the evidence needed for a successful prosecution and Mr Parnum failed to give a credible account. This is a harsh warning to scrap metal dealers in the District who fail to comply with the Act."

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