A man who sold controlled chemicals from a back garden laboratory has been sent to prison.
On 30 June at Hull Crown Court, 55-year-old Gert Meyers of Oxford Street, Bridlington was sentenced to 8 months in prison, after previously pleading guilty to possession of regulated substances without a licence, at Beverley Magistrates Court on Wednesday 29 March.
The charges relate to the unlawful possession of chemicals associated to a company called ‘Oxford Chem Serve’ that was run by Meyers. He was contacted about these substances by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit (NECTU) in November 2014 and advised that the substances he possessed would require a licence under new regulation by 3 March 2016.
Despite being contacted on numerous occasions after this initial contact he refused to engage with authorities. Enquiries into the business and Meyers highlighted that he didn’t show any consideration who he sold chemicals to, something that was concerning to the authorities.
NECTU’s investigation indicated Meyers was no longer selling chemicals online but he still possessed the substances and was committing an offence under The Poisons Act 1972.
The investigation was then taken on by Humberside Police and a warrant was executed at his home on Thursday 4 August 2016. Meyers was arrested and a number of chemicals recovered from his garden shed.
Due to the danger that the substances posed a large number of people were involved including police officers and staff, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service specialist staff, Yorkshire Ambulance, Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams, the local council and specialist scientists from the Home Office.
As a result of the risk posed by the chemicals a 200 meter cordon was put in place which led to large numbers of local residents and businesses being evacuated so that controlled explosions could be carried out.
Chief Inspector Iain Dixon from the East Riding Community Policing said:
Gert Meyers has failed to see the severity of what he has done wrong throughout his interactions with authorities and ignored warnings that he was possessing illegal substances. He was keeping these very volatile and explosive substances in his shed which could have seriously harmed or killed himself or neighbours. When we discovered the substances it became clear that we’d need to evacuate the area around his home to ensure the safety of the public. I hope now the circumstances are emerging the public support our action understand and why it was so vital.
I am sure the public affected by his selfish actions will be pleased to see that he has been sentenced to time in prison. It should serve as a warning to other people in possession of dangerous and unregulated substances that they will be identified and brought to justice.