Monday, 26 March 2012

Trio fined for burning cable

Caught in the act: burning cable is a criminal offence.

Three men have been fined for unlawfully burning the plastic from cables to get at the copper wires inside.

Mark Davies of Cottingley Heights, Paul Newbury and Ellis Hirsch, both from Cardinal Avenue, were found guilty under Section 33 of the Clean Air Act 1993 at Leeds Magistrates Court earlier this month.

Each was fined £525, ordered to pay £282 costs to Leeds City Council and a £15 victim surcharge.

Leeds City Council’s locality team brought the case to court after the trio were caught red handed by Environment Agency officers. The three men were photographed setting fire to cable on derelict land at Crows Nest Lane, Beeston on 9 September last year when Environment Agency officers attended the site.

Burning cable removes the plastic or other covering and reveals the copper or other materials inside. As the cable is burned, it gives off highly polluting and toxic smoke and is a criminal offence.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“It doesn’t matter where you got the cable from, burning it is an environmental crime. These men put themselves and others at risk and by working with our partners we’ll do whatever we can to stamp out irresponsible behaviour that threatens to pollute our local environment.”

Steven Robinson, environment officer with the Environment Agency said:

“I was on my way to work when I spotted black smoke coming from the site. I knew cable burning had taken place at this location before but no-one had ever been caught. Our work with Leeds City Council’s locality team has meant these men have been prosecuted for a crime against the environment.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577