04:07PM, Wednesday 12 May 2021
A woman whose garden in Slough was turned into an illegal scrap metal yard has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds by magistrates.
Mirela Nicolae’s backyard was full of metal fridges, bed frames, bathroom furniture, prams and engines parts which were being broken into component parts before the valuable metal was sold to scrap yards in London.
An investigation into fly-tipping led council officers to the 56-year-old’s home in Canterbury Avenue just half a mile away from where the rubbish had been dumped.
A visit to the property found it was being used as an unauthorised and unlicensed waste transfer station where scrap metal was broken up.
Nicolae’s van was then used to take the materials to scrap metal centres in the capital.
The van was seized after a warrant was issued on 28 November 2019 under the Environment Act 1995.
The 56-year-old left the country the next day however proceedings continued in her absence and a warrant issued for her arrest which was executed when she re-entered the UK.
Nicolae appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday (May 7) and admitted two charges of dealing scrap metal without a licence on November 28, 2019.
She also admitted failing to provide waste documents contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on December 6, 2019.
Magistrates fined her a total of £1,120 and told her to pay the council’s £2,000 prosecution costs.
Councillor Pavitar K. Mann, lead member for planning and regulation, said the controls around how waste is treated was to protect residents as well as the environment from potential pollutants from unofficial waste transfer stations.
She said: “Licences are there to make businesses responsible for their day to day activity.
“And a home garden is not a suitable place to run such a business from.
“Fly-tipping and illegal sites like this one was, leave all residents paying for the removal of other people’s rubbish.”
Billy Presbury, 21, of Moray Drive, and Kai Warwick, 19, of Whiteford Road, targeted a trio of teenage boys in Farnham Park on June 1, 2019.