Canning Town metal dealer fined after underage sale

A Canning Town metal dealer has been fined after he was caught on camera buying 9.5kg of copper from a pair of teenagers.

T&N Hill Services, in Ives Road, was secretly filmed as part of a joint police and council operation earlier this year,

Two teenagers, aged 14 and 15 and deployed as undercover underage test purchasers, successfully sold the firm �200 worth of the metal for just �50.

Owner Anthony Norman Hill admitted two offences at Stratford Magistrates Court on April 11 and was fined �200 and ordered to pay �1,806 costs.

Newham Council trading standards officers are using hidden devices to prosecute scrap metal dealers who break the law by buying goods from underage sellers.

The burgeoning stolen metal trade is thought to be driven by anonymous transactions.

Crimes committed in the borough have included the theft of storm gulley covers from street drains to stripping lead from a mortuary roof.

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Cable theft has also caused disruption to train services.

Residents have also complained to the council about toxic bonfires, which are used as a quick way of stripping the protective layers from cables to get to the valuable metal.

This follows an unrelated case in which Alyynas Lazauskas, of Meath Road, Stratford, was caught by British Transport Police officers with �12,000 worth of metal stripped from under a railway arch.

The 53-year old was jailed for 12 months on April 19 after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods.

Cllr Ian Corbett said: “There is no hiding place in Newham for those who are inflicting damage on our community and putting lives at risk to turn a quick profit.

“By using the latest technology we are also making clear we will use every tool at our disposal to secure prosecutions.

“There are no excuses for metal dealers doing this and we will do our utmost to stamp out this illegal trade.”