Let this be a warning to all smokers

Let this be a warning to all smokers

Published by Mike Draper at 11:36am 22nd July 2019.

A Hampshire man's been landed with huge legal bill after ignoring a simple fine for dropping a cigarette butt.

Test Valley Borough Council have come down hard on a smoker who dropped a fag end in the street.

  • The council has a ZERO TOLERANCE approach to littering
  • Litter includes all smoking, drinking and food related waste including cigarette butts and chewing gum

And to prove it's not an empty threat, these laws came into full effect after council workers caught a man littering a his discarded cigarette butt in December last year.

COST OF IGNORING COURT

  • He could have paid as little as £50
  • His total fine spiraled to £400

The man didn't bother to pay his initial £80 penalty for littering. This proved to be a bad and very costly mistake.

Thanks to an investigation from Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) he's now been ordered to pay more than £400.

FINE MORE THAN QUADRUPLED

At Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on July 11, in his absence, Mr Smallbone was found guilty and punished with:

  • £220 fine
  • £150 costs
  • £30 victim surcharge

After being caught littering, he was issued an £80 fixed penalty notice for the offence, which would have reduced to £50 if paid within seven days. However, Mr Smallbone did not pay and an investigation from TVBC meant that Mr Smallbone was taken to court, where his overall costs more than quadrupled.

THE LAWS ON LITTERING

  • It is an offence to drop litter anywhere in the open air, including rivers, lakes and drainage systems
  • Litter includes all smoking, drink and food waste including cigarette butts and chewing gum
  • A fixed penalty notice is £75 if paid within seven days
Litter and rubbish along Crane Street in Salisbury city centre
Litter and rubbish along Crane Street in Salisbury city centre

Test Valley Borough Council's environmental portfolio holder, councillor Alison Johnston, said:

"Whenever we prosecute for a fly-tipping offence, I always hope it acts as a deterrent. In this littering case, while I would plead with the general public to dispose of their litter properly, this is a message that we will pursue if you do not pay the penalty notice, too."

"There is never an excuse for littering, whether it's the end of a cigarette or a plastic bottle. Whether you leave something on the ground or throw it from a moving vehicle, you are still littering. It is everyone's responsibility to keep our environment clean and tidy."

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