Updated: Friday, 13th December 2019 @ 11:07am

No ifs, no butts: Harphurhey man sees £400 go up in smoke for dropping fag

No ifs, no butts: Harphurhey man sees £400 go up in smoke for dropping fag

| By Elliot Smith

A smoker caught dropping a cigarette butt in Manchester city centre has been burned by a £420 fine.

Christopher Lear, 34, of Carisbrook Street in Harpurhey, was forced to cough up £160, along with £240 in costs and an additional £20 victims of crime surcharge.

Manchester City Council officers are able to issue £80 on the spot fines to anybody spotted dropping litter, but those who refuse to pay can find themselves in court.

Cllr Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This prosecution shows that we are extremely serious in tackling the issue of littering in Manchester.

"There is no excuse for this individual to drop his cigarette butt on the street when there are bins with an external ashtray nearby.

“City Council officers, working with our dedicated team of litter busters in the city centre, are constantly on the look-out for people dropping their waste in our streets. We will not hesitate to issue on the spot fines to people we see doing this.”

On Friday July 18 2014, a Manchester City Council enforcement officer witnessed Lear drop a cigarette butt to the ground in Piccadilly Gardens and walk away.

The officer stopped Lear, showed identification and explained that the dropped butt constituted a littering offence.

The unfortunate smoker gave his details and accepted a fixed penalty notice, but was summoned to court after he failed to produce the cash, despite receiving a reminder letter from the City Council.

The hearing proved too much of a drag, as Lear failed to attend and the case was proven in his absence.

In addition to the council officers, a dedicated litter-busting team, which was deployed in November 2014, has been dishing out fines to those caught dropping cigarette butts, coffee cups, burger wrappers and other such items.

A further 25 PCSOs have also received further training to enable them to catch litter bugs.

The City Council has installed approximately 700 litter bins and 20 recycling bins across the city centre in a bid to stub out littering.

Image courtesy of Sudipto Sarkar, with thanks.