A FORMER council leader and his brother have faced their ‘day of reckoning’ for flouting environmental regulations at a scrapyard in the New Forest.

Barry Rickman, the former leader of the New Forest District Council appeared before Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday November 8.

He stood alongside his brother, Robert, to be sentenced for flouting environmental rules at Rickman’s Scrapyard which they jointly own in Lower Mead End, Sway.

During a hearing earlier this year, Barry, 64, of Heron Close, Sway, pleaded guilty to knowingly causing/permitting a person to operate a regulated waste operation facility that dealt with the deposit, treatment and or storage of waste without authorisation of an environmental permit.

Meanwhile, his 68-year-old brother, who lives at the yard, pleaded guilty to conducting/causing or knowingly permitting activity in contravention of an environmental permit in relation to the waste operation.

The charges concerned a period between November 17, 2017, and October 9 last year.

A prosecutor for the Environment Agency told how around 200 vehicles had been found at the site as well as a quantity of asbestos.

In March, the Rickman brothers were ordered to clear the land in six months.

However, they failed to comply with the order and were given an extension.

Defending for Robert, Richard Griffiths, said: “I have to say on Mr Rickman’s behalf he is medically very unwell. He has a leaking aortic valve.”

It was argued there are now just 26 vehicles remaining on the site.

The court heard that, Barry, has never been involved in the business and has never benefitted financially from it.

The former Tory politician had reportedly paid a haulage firm £9,650 to clear the scrapyard, however, his brother had cancelled the arrangement.

Prior to sentencing, a probation officer described Robert as a hoarder who struggles to get rid of items he does not really need.

District Judge Anthony Callaway warned “he is lucky not to go into prison today” and that the hearing was “the day of reckoning”.

Barry was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs.

Robert was jailed for four months and his sentence was suspended for 12 months.

He must pay £1,000 in costs and complete out 150 hours of unpaid work.