THE former director of a Great Harwood scrapyard was yesterday sentenced to a 24 week curfew and ordered to pay £18,000 in costs, after being found guilty of multiple offences relating to the running of a site off Meadow Street in Great Harwood.

Mary Louise Smith, the former director of T H Smith & Sons Ltd was sentenced yesterday, having been convicted following a four-day trial at Burnley Magistrates Court in August.

During the trial, the Court heard how over a 15-month period, TH Smith & Sons Ltd repeatedly accepted waste electrical & electronic equipment (WEEE), when they were only permitted to handle scrap vehicles. Environment Agency officers explained why WEEE was strictly regulated, due to the risks of environmental harm through its illegal disposal.

Smith was found to have been running the company throughout, and was responsible for other offences, including continuing to operate the business despite the Environment Agency having revoked the company’s permit.

Working alongside Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service and Hyndburn Borough Council, the Environment Agency are utilising a multi-agency approach to tackle the illegal activity impacting on residents in the Great Harwood and Clayton Le Moors area.

Environment Manager for Lancashire Steve Molyneux said: “Waste crime is a serious offence which can damage the environment, undermine those who operate legally and blight local communities.

“We take this type of crime seriously and remain committed to working with our multi-agency partners to hold those responsible to account”.

"Like the police, the Environment Agency relies on members of the public and legitimate businesses to help us identify the culprits. Anyone with information about suspected illegal waste operators should call the Environment Agency’s incident helpline on 0800 80 70 60 or call Crime Stoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.