Cigarette butt littering costs woman £900

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Throwing a cigarette butt from her car window has cost a woman more than £900.

Kathleen Connors, of Stanbridge Road, Great Billington was spotted discarding the cigarette end from her car window in High Street North, Dunstable, by one of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Environmental Protection Officers in September 2014.

However, when she was contacted by the council, Miss Connor denied committing the offence as she said that many different people drive her car.

After failing to keep an appointment to visit the council’s offices to verify her appearance, Miss Connor was given an £80 fixed penalty notice for littering – reduced to £50 if paid within eight days.

Despite two reminder letters and several telephone calls, she failed to pay, leading to the council beginning prosecution proceedings.

Miss Connor also failed to attend her hearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court on May 19, despite having been notified about it in advance.

In her absence she was fined £400 as well as being ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40 and the full prosecution costs of £460.24.

Councillor Richard Wenham, Executive Member for Corporate Resources at Central Beds Council, said: “Some people may consider it drastic taking someone to court for dropping a cigarette butt.

“However, Miss Connor was given ample opportunities to explain herself and to pay a fixed penalty charge notice – all of which she ignored.

“Central Bedfordshire is a beautiful place to live and work, but it won’t stay that way if people drop litter, which is why we will take action against anyone caught doing so.”

If you spot anyone littering or fly-tipping, please call 0300 300 8302 or email customers@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

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