Smokers to pay £500 over discarded butts in Cannock car park
Two women who threw cigarette butts out of their car windows in a Cannock car park have been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in fines.
Penny Tayle and Danielle Wilkins must pay a total of £545 each after an enforcement officer for Cannock Chase Council caught them littering.
Magistrates heard how the officer, David Rimmer, had been watching out for litter louts in the McDonald's car park on Church street in October and November last year.
Mrs Bridget Fearn, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said former Staffordshire police inspector Mr Rimmer had watched from his car as both women smoked their cigarettes and then made no attempt to dispose of them correctly.
He noted down their registration plate numbers and got their details from the DVLA.
Both were notified by post of the prosecutions but failed to respond.
Neither Tayle, of Brignorth Road, Trescott, Wolverhampton, nor Wilkins, of Forge Close, Churchbridge, Cannock, were present at the hearing at Stafford Magistrates Court yesterday.
Chair of the magistrates, Mr Paul Ensor, found both Tayle and Wilkins guilty of littering in their absence.
They were each fined £200, ordered to pay court costs of £325 and a victim surcharge of £20.
Mike Walker, environmental protection manager for the council, said after the case: "Littering continues to be a significant cause of concern with over 180 complaints being received in the last year alone.
"Residents should be warned that even small items such as cigarette ends are litter and anyone caught dropping them can expect to receive a fixed penalty notice.
"Cannock Chase District Council is committed to improving the environment for local communities, businesses and visitors to the area.
"Officers regularly undertake patrols across the district in an effort to tackle those responsible for littering and dog fouling."
He added that since April last year the council had issued 158 fixed penalty notices and seven people had been found guilty in court receiving fines ranging from £75 up to £200.
They had also been ordered to pay substantial costs.
Cannock Chase Council picks up 2,050 tons of litter from the streets every year.
Stafford Borough Council has also launched a crackdown on littering in recent months, calling on the public to name and shame dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.
Prosecutions have been launched against several people after they were reported.
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