UK: A Newcastle householder has been fined £480 for torching fridges and freezers in his back garden in breach of environmental regulations. 

Acting on a complaint, environmental protection officers visited a house in Walkergate, a residence occupied by the ironically named Peter Burn. In the back garden they found refrigeration units, freezers and fridge-freezers stacked up against the fence, evidence of their dismantling and a large, scorched area of grass, lined with stones, containing ash and remnants of metal.

Burn, told officers he “liked to light fires” and had been collecting appliances using a wheelbarrow, stripping the “gas bottles”, metals and plastics from them, selling the scrap and burning the remains. He said he had been doing it for a period of six months and just the previous week, to mark Bonfire Night, had set fire to two large fridge-freezers.

Appearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, Burn pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed waste facility and disposing of controlled waste in a way that was likely to cause pollution or harm to human health.

He was fined £480, and ordered to pay £348.90 in costs, with a £34 victim surcharge.


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