Two men have been convicted of waste crime after depositing, storing and dismantling end of life vehicles at their site without authorisation from the Environment Agency.

Robert and Barry Rickman have been sentenced after they pleaded guilty at West Hampshire Magistrates Court.

Robert Rickman - who operated a regulated facility illegally, namely a waste operation for the deposit, treatment and storage of waste, specifically end of life vehicles - was handed four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

Robert Rickman was also handed a 150-hour Community Service Order and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £128.

Barry Rickman was prosecuted for knowingly permitting the operation of a regulated facility illegally, namely a waste operation for the deposit, treatment and storage of waste and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and victim surcharge of £190.

Illegal waste burning

The Environment Agency prosecuted 68-year-old Robert Rickman of Rickman’s Scrapyard, Mead End Road, Lymington, and 64-year-old Barry Rickman of Heron Close, Lymington, after a member of the public reported that burning was taking place at the site.

Environment Agency and police officers attended the site at Mead End Road to find that the scrap yard was being operated illegally and 150-200 vehicles and numerous car parts were stored across the site.

An Environment Agency officer explained to Rickman that he needed a permit, but Rickman stated he would clear the site.

The officer noted that there was no area of hard standing, drainage or other infrastructure to be able to operate legally, which was a risk of pollution to the local environment.

The Environment Agency and New Forest District Council met with both Robert and Barry Rickman to produce a plan to remove the vehicles from the site over a 12-month period.

After many site visits it was clear that very few vehicles had been removed.

Nick Gray, acting area director for the Environment Agency, said:

We gave Robert and Barry Rickman every opportunity to clear the site, which they did not do. The waste came from innocent members of the public, unaware their vehicles were being stored and dismantled illegally, which undermined legitimate waste operators and blights the local community and environment.

"The conviction of the Rickmans serves as a reminder to people who exploit the waste industry that we are dedicated to pursuing law-breakers from the crime to the courtroom.

"We encourage anyone who is suspicious of potential waste crime activity to report it to us on 0800 807060."