Pair in court three years to the day since huge fire at Yorkshire tyre storage yard

Three years to the day after a huge blaze at a Yorkshire tyre storage yard, two people have appeared in court to face charges relating to the site.

Stuart Bedford, 61, of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate and Vicky Bedford, 51, of Fairgray Close, Ripon, appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court where a series of charges were put to them and the company they were involved – Equalityre.

They gave no indication to what they would plead, and the case will be moved to Bradford Crown Court on December 14.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A number of the charges, which have been brought by the Environment Agency, relate to a former go kart track at Spring Mill Street, just outside Bradford city centre.

Stuart Bedford and Vicky Bedford appears at Bradford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, November 16, 2023.Stuart Bedford and Vicky Bedford appears at Bradford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
Stuart Bedford and Vicky Bedford appears at Bradford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

On November 16, 2020 a fire began on the site that saw thousands of tyres burn for days. At its height up to 100 firefighters were at the scene and it took a week before it was completely extinguished.

Among the charges are that the pair and Equalityre “kept controlled waste in manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health” at the site between May 11, 2020 and April 8, 2021.

Other charges included failing to comply with notices ordering the company to remove tyres from the site and operating a regulated facility without authorisation of environmental permit.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As well as charges relating to the Bradford site, a series of charges were put to the pair relating to land at the Wright Business Park in Doncaster, including failure to remove controlled waste from that site.

At the time of the alleged offences Mrs Bedford was director of Equalityre, with Mr Bedford appointed to the role in February 2021. It emerged during the court case that the pair had been living in Spain until recently.

The Environment Agency had begun extradition proceedings against the pair, but the court heard they both returned to the UK under their own volition.

Also appearing in court today was Michael Hughes, 64, of Kingsdale Avenue, Menston – who was representing Licensed Tyre Disposals of Shipley.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That company was charged with handling or transferring controlled waste without taking reasonable measures at Shipley between May 11 2020 and July 7 2020.

He also gave no indication of plea, and will appear alongside the Bedford’s at next month’s hearing.

Conditions of Mr Bedford’s bail include that he surrenders any ID or documents that would allow him to travel abroad, that he not plan any international travel, and that he not attend any airport, seaport or railway station that has services to other countries.

Another condition is that he report to Harrogate Police Station on a daily basis. Conditions of Mrs Bedford’s bail are that she surrender her passport and report to Harrogate Police Station three times a week.