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Community order for illegal car dismantling

A man who rented out land on which vehicles were being dismantled without authorisation has been taken to court by the Environment Agency (EA).

Paul McKenzie allowed Tyne Autos to trade at Brewery Lane, Gateshead, despite being warned repeatedly by the EA that the operation did not have a permit.

McKenzie, 44, of Queens Square, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to a charge against Environmental Permitting Regulations when he appeared before magistrates in Sunderland.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 250 hours of unpaid work, as well as being ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

Andrea Parnham, on behalf of the EA, told the court that the site was visited on several occasions.

Checks on a number of vehicles on the Brewery Lane site identified at least seven of them had been sold for scrap as MOT failures or write-offs. These vehicles had been disposed of by contacting Tyne Autos through a number of websites.

McKenzie had originally claimed the cars belonged to his cousin and were going to be restored or repaired. He challenged the need for an environmental permit, saying he was simply “moving second-hand cars around the site”.

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