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Driver fined for dropping cigarette has appeal dismissed

Date: 24/01/2011           Category: Environmental health

A smoker fined £245 after throwing his cigarette out of his Mercedes window has been ordered to pay a further £300 in costs after losing his appeal.

Brian Hunt, 39, would have paid just £60 for the offence had he paid the littering fixed penalty notice last July.

But he decided to fight the charge saying he did not smoke for medical reasons and could produce doctor’s evidence to back his claim.

Hunt of Poppy Close, Gillingham was found guilty of littering in his absence by Medway Magistrates on 18, October 2010.

The court heard how Hunt has been spotted by two of Medway Council’s Community Officers throwing the cigarette from the driver’s side window of the car while in stationary traffic in Strood.

He was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £150 plus a £15 victim surcharge. He did not submit a letter from his doctor about not smoking.

Hunt lodged an appeal and the case was due to be heard at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday (24, January 2011).

But after failing to appear – despite being granted more time to attend court - his appeal was dismissed with costs of £300 awarded to Medway Council.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, portfolio holder for community safety and enforcement, said: “We want everyone to feel proud of Medway and our officers work hard to keep the area safe and clean.

“We make no apologies for taking action against him. Our officers will issue fixed penalty notices to those who disregard our streets and parks in this way by littering.”