Littering lands Havant man in court

Friday, 7 December, 2018

A Havant man who was caught dropping a cigarette butt in a Liss lay-by was ordered to pay more than £400 in fines and legal costs by magistrates.

Mark Newman, of Kingsclere Avenue, was witnessed dropping the cigarette butt on 8 June by two enforcement officers as they drove along the A3 near Liss.

Portsmouth Magistrates Court heard that Newman (47) denied dropping the cigarette on the floor, claiming instead he had dropped it in a bin at the lay-by.

However, the court saw video footage of the bin which showed that the bin did not contain any cigarettes. At the trial Newman told the court that he had been mistaken and claimed he disposed of the cigarette in a different bin at the lay-by.

East Hampshire District Council is committed to keeping the district’s streets clean and free from litter with regular litter enforcement patrols.

Residents and visitors can be fined £80 for discarding litter, including cigarette butts and chewing gum. Failure to pay the fine could lead to a £2,500 fine in court and a criminal conviction.

On finding Newman guilty, the magistrates said that having heard credible evidence from two experienced enforcement officers who had witnessed Newman dropping the cigarette butt, it stretched credibility for Newman to claim he had forgotten which bin he had put the cigarette butt in.

Newman was fined £125 and ordered to pay East Hampshire District Council £250 in legal costs along with a £30 victim surcharge.

Cllr Ingrid Thomas, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, said: “This case shows our commitment to reducing litter and demonstrates that we are determined to follow through on the fines we issue.

“We expect our regular patrols to cut the amount of litter being dropped around the district and that is good for the environment and good for the area’s residents and visitors.

“The message is clear. If you drop litter, then you can expect a fine.”