Date: 23/05/2012 Category: Community safety team
A litterbug has been ordered by a court to pay nearly £470 after dropping a cigarette butt on Gillingham High Street.
David Lockwood, 35, was spotted discarding his cigarette butt on the pavement outside Greggs Bakers, in Gillingham High Street, in December last year by one of Medway Council’s assistant community officers.
Lockwood, of Jeffery Street, Gillingham, told the community officer that he could not afford to pay the fine because he was on benefits. He was offered an extension to pay, but he declined this straight away.
As the FPN remained unpaid, an investigation started and Lockwood was invited to a recorded interview. When the council received no contact from him, the case was brought to court.
Lockwood did not appear at Medway Magistrates Court on 22 May so the case was heard in his absence.
He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £252 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Chair of the magistrates' bench Colin Smith told the court: “Just because people are on benefits, doesn't mean they can commit crime and get away with it. Lockwood could have paid £60, now he has to pay £467.”
If Lockwood had paid the Fixed Penalty Notice it would have cost £60 if paid within 10 days and £80 if paid within 14 days.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “I echo the comments from the chair of the bench. People cannot litter our streets and think they can get away with it just because they are on a low income or benefits. Keeping Medway clean and green is for the benefit of everyone in our community and it is a shame that a minority do not consider others before throwing their litter on the floor.”