A driver who threw a cigarette butt from her car has been handed a £1,000 penalty by Magistrates, after she refused to pay a £75 on-the-spot fine.

Alexandra O’Shea was spotted by police community support officers, flicking the fag end into the street as she drove through Bristol.

After being flagged down, the 35-year-old was issued with a fine for littering. After refusing to pay, Bristol City Council took the matter to court.

O'Shea was fined £600 for littering and ordered to pay costs of over £400

Carol Donovan, a street scene officer for Bristol City Council, said: “We wrote to her telling her that if she did not pay that we would take her to court,” reported the Daily Mail.

“She ignored this, and failed to turn up when the case was heard, despite reminders, and then magistrates obviously took her behaviour very seriously.”

O’Shea was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £361.08 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Jonquil Maudlin, council neighbourhood enforcement manager, told the Mail: “People should be aware that cigarette ends are just as much litter as anything else, and they take a long time to biodegrade, as they are made not of paper, but of plastic filament.

“They are full of toxic chemicals and it has been found that many have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds and other animals who mistake them for food.”

The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign echoed these sentiments, stating that littering costs the country an estimated £1billion each year.

Is a £1,000 penalty for dropping a cigarette butt justified? Have your say below.

Picture: Fotolia

Daljinder Nagra


March 6, 2014