County News: Sussex smokers fined Â£440 each for dropping a cigarette butt
Three people who dropped cigarette butts and then failed to pay an initial fixed penalty of Â£75 have been slapped with Â£440 fines '“ plus Â£450 costs and a Â£44 victim surcharge.
Brighton Magistrates found the trio guilty of dropping litter in the street when the case came to court on January 4 after they failed to pay a £75 fine that was issued at the time.
Littering is contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act and a criminal offence.
Stacey Ransom, Muhammad Noorani and Michael Conn were each ordered to pay a fine of £440, plus £450 costs and a £44 victim surcharge.
A Brighton & Hove Council spokesperson said all three offences related to cigarette litter which is ‘one of the most common causes of street litter’.
These were the first cases taken to court following the start of a new enforcement contract last year which aims to support the council’s work to improve the environment and reduce waste clean-up costs by tackling littering.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment committee, said: “The council is taking all kinds of littering extremely seriously.
“Taking someone to court is a last resort but anyone ignoring a fixed penalty notice (FPN) leaves themselves at risk of prosecution which could result in a hefty bill and a criminal record.”
The defendants also had the opportunity to plead guilty by post which would have resulted in a less severe penalty.
All the offences occurred in the summer of 2016.