Unlicensed scrap dealers were fined £600 for displaying council and Environmental Agency logos on their vans.
Liam Gallagher and Andrew Fradgley collected scrap in a van bearing the logos of Durham County Council, Hartlepool Borough Council and the Environment Agency – and claimed they were licensed by all three.
Peterlee magistrates on Friday heard how a county council neighbourhood warden came across a Ford Transit van in the Beaumont Crescent area of Horden on August 20 last year.
The vehicle was loaded with waste.
It was emblazoned with the words ‘Scrap Metal Collection’ as well as ‘licensed by,’ above the three logos.
The vehicle was empty but Fradgley, 32, of Bruce Kirkup Road, Horden, was nearby and told the warden it was being driven by his business partner Gallagher, who had gone looking for scrap.
Gallagher, 31, of Ravensworth Crescent, Hartlepool, then arrived at the scene, confirmed he was the driver and that he was collecting scrap.
Inquiries revealed that neither Fradgley nor Gallagher held, or had ever held, licences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
In an interview, Fradgley said he had bought the van with the logos already on it.
Neither man was registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency.
Both men pleaded guilty to three charges of displaying logos without having appropriate licences.
They were each fined £400, ordered to pay £228.46 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.