Smoking proves expensive habit for Chester litterbug

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

A LITTERBUG who dropped a cigarette butt in the street has been ordered to pay fines totalling £170.

Thomas Cooke, 40, of Glyn Garth, Blacon, Chester, was prosecuted by Cheshire West and Chester Council for failing to pay a fixed penalty notice (FPN).

He had been issued with the FPN by council enforcement officers who spotted him dropping a cigarette butt in Princess Street, next to the city's market.

The initial penalty is £50 if paid within seven days, after which it rises to £75 and must be paid within 14 days.

Cooke failed to cough up and appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, November 23, when he was ordered to pay a £60 fine for littering, as well as £80 court costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

The defendant entered a guilty plea when CCTV footage of the offence was shown to the court.

The council says that on top of the environmental impact of making streets look dirty and untidy, it costs almost £600,000 a year to clear litter in the Northwich, Ellesmere Port and Chester areas.

Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “Littering is always considered to be one of the most important issues to our residents.

“Our Street Care Pledge sets out our commitment to maintain clean and tidy streets across the borough. We had no option but to issue court proceedings against this person when he refused to pay the initial fine.

“This follows on from many successful prosecutions earlier this year. The message is simple - anyone caught dropping litter and who doesn’t pay their fine will be taken to court and prosecuted.”

Email:

steve.creswell@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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