Smoker who threw cigarette butt ordered to pay £353 fine

A smoker who threw a cigarette butt down a drain has been ordered to pay £353 after the case was taken to court.

Charlotte Harrison was handed a £60 fixed penalty notice at the time.

She was seen throwing the butt into the drain in Wolverhampton but refused to pay the fixed penalty. She failed to turn up at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court where the case was proved in her absence and she was found guilty of throwing down litter.

Mrs Donna Richards, prosecuting on behalf of Wolverhampton City Council, told the court two workers from the council's public protection team saw Harrison drop the butt in Queen Street.

She dropped the end down the drain just outside the offices of Wolverhampton Homes on March 20 this year and then walked away along Queen Street.

Ashley Foster and his colleague followed Harrison into Thompson travel agents in Queen Street where she was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Mrs Richards said: "There is no record of the fixed penalty ever being paid.

"She had numerous chances to pay the fixed penalty notice."

Harrison said to Mr Foster that she thought it was better to throw the butt down the drain than onto the pavement, according to Mrs Richards.

Harrison, aged 39, of Weston Road, Albrighton, was ordered to pay costs of £238, a £100 fine and a £15 victim surcharge and was given 28 days to pay it.

In Wolverhampton, authorised officers who work for the city council can issue fixed penalty notices of £60 for any littering off-nces.

Failure to pay may result in a prosecution and the maximum fine is £2,500.

The council clears 20,000 tons of litter from the city's streets each year, costing local taxpayers around £2 million.

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