TWO men who filled a neighbourhood with noxious fumes by burning electric cables have been fined more than £6,000 and given five-year anti-social behaviour orders.
James Harrington, 35, was caught on CCTV burning `lorry loads' of cables outside his home on Dewhurst Road, Fartown, in June.
David Kavanagh, 37, of Norman Road, Birkby, was caught pouring petrol on to a heap of cables.
Both were after the valuable copper core in the cables.
Huddersfield magistrates heard Kirklees Council received several complaints from neighbours saying they were unable to open windows or do anything outside for days because of the pungent and toxic fumes.
When confronted by council officers Harrington claimed he was called Shane Ward and became aggressive and abusive.
When challenged by police Kavanagh claimed he was called Brendan Darwood and escaped after he was asked to produce identification.
Harrington, who was absent from court, was found guilty of burning cable insulation material on four occasions.
Incineration of cable material is banned under the Clean Air Act 1993. He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £860.39 costs.
Kavanagh, who also absent, was found guilty of one count of burning insulation material. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £612.66 costs.
As a condition of their ASBOs, both could go to jail if they cause any further harassment to neighbours.
Prosecuting Geoff Bell said: "Burning of cables for the extraction of copper can be a very lucrative business.
"Theft of cables has become such a concern it has been on Crimestoppers.
"It leads to railway lines not working and people being without electricity. It creates a serious amount of pollution.
"The defendants have treated police with disdain and given false names and addresses.
"CCTV set up by environmental health officers shows quite considerable amounts of cables being burned. We are talking lorry loads."
Magistrate Gill Tankard said: "There has been no co-operation from the persons who have been offending.
"The implications of their activities are such that the general public need to be protected."