A 28-YEAR-OLD man caught carrying scrap metal without a licence has been fined £500 and ordered to pay £935 court costs by magistrates.

Ferguson Lacey was spotted driving a flat-bed truck along Europa Boulevard, in Westbrook on July 8 this year.

Warrington Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday, December 17, how the price of scrap metal had soared in the summer from £60 per ton to £250 per ton.

The rise had led to an increase in the theft of scrap metal from the roofs of public buildings and churches.

PC Gary Wigglesworth stopped Lacey and asked to see his papers.

Lacey had a legitimate driving licence but he did not have a waste carrier’s licence.

A Warrington Borough Council enforcement officer attended the scene and Lacey was given seven days to produce the documentation.

But he did not comply and a £300 fixed penalty notice was issued along with another seven-day ultimatum in August.

No payment was received by September and Lacey, of Gloucester Street, in St Helens, was then charged with the offence.

The successful prosecution is believed to be the first of its kind in the Warrington area.

However, despite several phone calls made by the Warrington Guardian last week, Warrington Borough Council refused to comment on the case.