Up in smoke – court fines for smokers who litter their butts

Date published: 06 November 2018

Action has been taken against seven litter bugs who were caught dropping cigarette ends in Rochdale, as well as a fly-tipper.

Cases were heard this month at Manchester & Salford Magistrates Court. Each littering defendant had been issued and failed to pay an FPN in April 2018.  Fixed penalty notices to the sum of £75 are on the spot fines issued for any type of littering. The amount of the FPN is reduced to £50 for prompt payment. When left unpaid, defendants are prosecuted and face charges much higher than the original amount of the FPN. The average cost to the following defendants was £418.

Suagline Suabli of Rochdale and Dimitrinka Dimova of Rochdale were both witnessed throwing away a lit cigarette ends in Rochdale town centre. Neither defendant attended court and both were fined £220, ordered to pay £285 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge in their absence.

Liam Hall of Middleton, Sharon Smith of Manchester and John Ashworth of Middleton were witnessed dropping cigarette ends in Middleton. Mr Hall pleaded guilty to littering and was fined £40, ordered to pay £170 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge. Ms Smith and Mr Ashworth failed to attend court and were found guilty in their absence. Ms Smith was fined £220, ordered to pay £285 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge. Mr Ashworth was fined £220, ordered to pay £265 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Alicia Norwood of Heywood and Stoian Valerica Marinela of Rochdale were spotted throwing lighted cigarette ends to the ground and walking away on Yorkshire Street, Rochdale. Neither attended court and both were found guilty in their absence. Fines of £220, costs of £285 and a £30 victim surcharge were levied against both defendants.

Also this month, Aliyah Mahmood, of Rochdale pleaded guilty to a duty of care offence and to fly-tipping after bags of her household waste were found dumped on Ramsden Road, Wardle in November and again on Dean Street, Rochdale in December last year. Ms Mahmood told the court she had paid two unknown individuals £30 to remove the waste found in Wardle and admitted to dumping the waste found in Rochdale herself. She was fined £338 with £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Since January, Rochdale Borough Council has prosecuted 30 people for environmental crimes leading to financial penalties of almost £12,000.

Councillor Neil Emmott, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The council’s budget is tight and we don’t have the resources or money to pick up after people who dump waste or drop litter. Thankfully, the majority of residents don’t commit these crimes but the selfish few that do need to know that they will be taken to court and forced to pay the price. We want the borough to be a clean environment where people want to live and work. We’re doing our part by keeping the streets clean but I call on litter bugs to think twice before they drop litter.”

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