Gainsborough: Discarded cigarette on the street costs man more than £400

Discarding a cigarette in the street has cost a Gainsborough businessman £470 at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

Lincoln Magistrates Court
Lincoln Magistrates Court

David Holmes, 63, of Trinity Street appeared in court on Wednesday to deny a charge of littering brought by West Lindsey District Council.

The court heard that Holmes was seen dropping the cigarette outside the Copper Kettle Café on Trinity Street on 17th September by West Lindsey District Council environmental protection officer Nigel Periam.

Mr Periam told the court he had been on a joint community action exercise with the council, police and fire service in the South West ward of Gainsborough.

When walking back to his car, which was parked on Trinity Street, he noticed Holmes smoking a cigarette outside the café.

The court heard Mr Periam knew Holmes from two previous meetings back in 2012.

“As I was waiting to pull out into the traffic I saw Mr Holmes discard a cigarette end into the road immediately in front of my car,” said Mr Periam.

“At the time I was heading to another appointment and did not have time to speak to Mr Holmes about the offence.”

Once back at the council offices, Mr Periam issued a £75 fixed penalty notice to Holmes for the offence.

As the notice remained unpaid after 14 days, a reminder was issued, but Holmes still refused to pay.

Holmes was found guilty of littering and fined £150.

He was also ordered to pay £300 costs, plus a £20 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the verdict, Mr Periam said: “Trained council officers have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for a number of offences.”

“These are not issued lightly and give the opportunity to the offender to settle the matter out of court saving much time and expense to the council and taxpayers.

“This result shows that refusing to pay will result in the council fulfilling its duty to bring offenders to task.”

West Lindsey District Council leader, Coun Jeff Summers welcomed the conviction and said: “This example shows that we will take robust enforcement action against anyone negligently depositing rubbish in public places, especially on footpaths”

“It is important that you dispose of your waste in the proper manner.”