Smokers were ordered to pick up the tab for dropping cigarette butts

Nine smokers who threw their cigarette butts on the ground, ignored £150 penalty notices and failed to appear before magistrates were faced with bills of more than £450 each.

The proceedings were brought by Sunderland City Council and the fines imposed at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates heard that during each incident the defendants were seen by police officers from the council area dropping a cigarette and then walking away.

All were given fixed penalty notices for £150 but failed to pay despite several reminder letters, leading to their cases being taken to the Magistrates’ Court for prosecution.

Because they did not show up in court, all the cases were found proven in the absence of the defendants.

In six cases heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on June 29, each defendant was fined £220, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and costs of £235.

John Young of Hendon Burn Avenue, Hendon was seen dropping a cigarette butt in Fawcett Street on November 17 last year.

Lisa Simpson of Padgate Road, Pennywell was seen dropping a cigarette butt in the market square on November 19 last year.

Kelly Phuprate by Marley Crescent, Marley Potts was seen dropping a cigarette butt on Southwick Road on October 25 last year.

Tony Hoggarth of Gilhurst Grange, Sunderland was seen dropping a cigarette butt in High Street West on November 12 last year.

Faihad Almutari of West Wear Street, Sunderland was seen dropping a cigarette butt in the market square on December 1 last year.

Samantha Lewis of Honeysuckle Avenue, South Shields was seen dropping a cigarette butt in the market square on November 19 last year.

In three other cases at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on July 5, each defendant was fined £200, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and costs of £235:

Francesco Soro of Wiltshire Road, Witherwack was seen dropping a cigarette butt in Crowtree Road on December 15 last year

Suzanne Martin and Georgia Jolley, both of John Williamson Street, South Shields were seen laying cigarette butts in the market square on December 12 last year.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councilor Claire Rowntree, said: ‘Anyone who does not dispose of their butts responsibly risks a £150 fixed fine and facing legal action. ignores warning letters and fails to pay.

“We know that the environment is very important to our people who want to live in a green and clean city, so we will not hesitate to intervene where we see people acting irresponsibly in this way. The magistrates also see d ‘an evil eye on the smokers that litter our town as can be seen through these fines.’

Over the past two years, 835 fixed penalty notices have been issued for the littering offense in Sunderland.

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