Businessman could be jailed for illegal storage of tyres

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A BUSINESSMAN illegally stored thousands of tyres on his land while running an unlicensed waste and treatment operation.

Carl Steele, who ran FCM Logistics (Tyres) Ltd, was warned at least 20 times by the Environment Agency about his business at Deeping St Nicholas but took no action to register the operation.

When court action began against him, he moved the tyres to other illegal sites across the country.

At Lincoln Crown Court on Friday, Ruby Hamid, prosecuting, said Steele operated a profitable business with over £1m passing through a bank account but he was able to undercut his rivals to obtain tyres because he did not pay licensing fees and so gained a larger share of the market.

She said the storage of tyres was regulated because of possible dangers to the environment of contaminants getting into the land and into water courses used for the supply of drinking water.

She said Steele first attracted attention from the Environment Agency in 2009 when his site at Chapel Farm was visited and thousands of tyres were found.

Steele was treating some of the tyres and selling them off for building materials. Others were illegally exported to Vietnam.

At one point 400,000 waste tyres were stored on the site but later the numbers reduced only for investigators to discover they had been switched to other illegal storage sites in Yorkshire, Norfolk, Essex and Worcestershire.

Steele (33), of Chapel Farm, Deeping St Nicholas, admitted six charges relating to the illegal storage and treatment of waste tyres on dates in 2009 and 2010

FCM Logistics (Tyres) Ltd, which is currently in the hands of liquidators, admitted a similar charge relating to the operation at Deeping St Nicholas.

Sentence was adjourned until September.

Steele was granted bail but was warned by Judge Sean Morris: “All options are open. You know perfectly well that for offences such as these custodial sentence can follow.”