A van driver has been ordered to pay more than £200 in fines and legal costs after ignoring repeated requests to provide information to council officials.
At Banbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Cristi Bacila of Arthur Street in Wolverhampton admitted one charge of failing to respond to a statutory notice requesting details of a scrap metal and waste carrier licence.
The court heard on April 15 last year, an officer from Cherwell District Council’s antisocial behaviour team was contacted by a member of the public who had become suspicious of a man who approached her enquiring after scrap metal.
The complainant had noted the man’s vehicle registration number and checks by the officer on the council and police websites revealed the van was not licensed to collect scrap metal in Cherwell.
Further investigations identified Bacila as the owner of the van but officers were unable to find records of any licence being issued to him personally.
Letters were sent to Bacila at his home address on April 20 and when no response was received, a second letter was issued on 7 May. To date, no response has ever been received.
Bacila admitted failing to respond to a statutory notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was fined £90, ordered to pay £20 victim surcharge and £125 prosecution costs.
Councillor Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for public protection, said: “The issue here is not whether Mr Bacila was collecting scrap metal; it is the fact that he failed to respond or even acknowledge two statutory letters sent to him by the council.
“Anyone in a similar situation would be naïve to think that by sticking their head in the sand and ignoring the letters, the problem will go away. In fact the situation will only escalate and what could start out as a simple issue could become a serious and expensive legal matter, as Mr Bacila discovered for himself in court this week.”