A cigarette butt thrown out of a car window has cost a Stoke-on-Trent man almost £1,000 in court.
Magistrates heard an on-duty environmental crime officer from Stoke-on-Trent City Council saw the item being thrown out of a Land Rover Discovery on Lightwood Road, on July 11. Following enquiries, the car was found to belong to Sibtain Khurshid.
The council took the matter to court after Mr Khurshid failed to respond to a formal notice through the Environment Act 1995 section 108, which asked him to provide information relating to the offence. For not responding to the notice, Mr Khurshid, of Lightwood Road, was ordered by magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in his absence to pay a total of £990 in fines and costs.
Cllr Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: "This prosecution should act as a warning that failing to assist in our enquiries is not taken lightly by magistrates and can lead to a hefty fine.
“We’re putting in a lot of time and effort into cleaning up the city, but it makes it so much harder when people are creating unnecessary litter and mess. Littering really annoys me because it’s something which has such a negative impact on the appearance of our city, but is also easily avoidable. I know it frustrates our residents too, who have made it clear they want us to crackdown on this type of thing.
“Cigarette butts don’t just disappear – because of the plastic in them, they can take years to decompose. All we ask is that people put their litter in a bin, or take it home with them, instead of throwing it onto the floor. It costs council tax payers a lot of money to clear up after those who don’t dispose of their litter responsibility.”
The court hearing took place on November 19.
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