Hawick scrapyard saved from closure

Scrap metal dealer at Crowbyres Yard Hawick also E&E Motors.
Scrap metal dealer at Crowbyres Yard Hawick also E&E Motors.

Councillors heard that a Borders scrap metal business would fold with the loss of three jobs if its operator, who has a string of criminal convictions, was denied the right to trade.

Police had objected to Shane Clark, whose car-breaking yard is at Crowbyres in Hawick, being granted a renewal of his metal dealer and second-hand dealer licences.

In a letter to the civic government licensing committee of SBC, Chief Inspector Paula Clark stated: “The police cannot support the grant of these licences on the basis that the applicant is not a fit and proper person.”

But after a hearing on Friday, the committee granted the permits, which normally cover three years, for a one-year period.

In applying for a renewal of the licence temporarily granted earlier this year, Mr Clark, 27, had admitted a history of offending dating back to 2003.

His record included five convictions for breach of the peace, one for reset, one for theft by housebreaking and one for the attempted theft of a motor vehicle, along with five road traffic offences.

When his temporary licences were granted, the committee was aware he had one outstanding criminal case pending relating to an incident in Burnfoot, Hawick, in January 2013.

In August this year, Mr Clark was found guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court of breach ing the peace and resisting arrest. He was fined £350.

Trainee solicitor Briony Cruden said her client deeply regretted what she described as a 10-minute loss of composure, but she reminded councillors that they knew the Burnfoot case, which was unconnected with his business, was pending when the temporary licences were granted.

She said: “His previous convictions make it hard for him to find work elsewhere and these licences allow Mr Clark to work and contribute to society, rather than be reliant on state benefits.

“The loss of his licences will mean the closure of the yard which employs three workers, surely the last thing our economy needs right now. It is nearly two years since his last offence and I ask you not to further punish him for his past actions, but to give him a chance to rehabilitate and continue to develop his future successfully.”