Bristol woman fined more than £700 for tossing cigarette on ground

A Bristol woman has been ordered to pay a total of £708 after South Gloucestershire Council prosecuted her for littering in Kingswood for dropping a cigarette on the ground.

Alison Godfrey of Green Croft in Speedwell, Bristol, failed to attend Bristol Magistrates Court for the hearing on Monday (January 23) but was found guilty in her absence and convicted of littering for dumping the cigarette on the ground. She was ordered to pay a fine of £220, along with £400 in costs and a £88 victim surcharge, making a total of £708.

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The court heard that on June 20, 2022, South Gloucestershire Council Street Enforcement officers were conducting a uniformed patrol on Kingswood’s Regent Street when they spotted Godfrey on the opposite side of the street. She threw a cigarette on the ground as she passed a bar and a roadside trash can while heading into the Kings Chase retail centre.

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She made no attempt to pick it up and put it in the trash can she had just passed. Later, she went inside a nearby bank.

When she came out, one of the officers who had been waiting outside the bank pointed out the offence she had just committed, but she was dismissive and walked away without giving any details. She was seen shortly after returning to a parked car, at which point the officer approached her once more and asked for her information. She complied this time, and was given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

The prosecution for littering was moved through the court after further investigations revealed that she has not made any payments toward the set penalty to date.

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Councillor Rachael Hunt, cabinet member responsible for environmental enforcement at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Discarded cigarette ends count as litter and are one of the most common forms of littering that our Street Enforcement Officers are coming across, especially on our high streets.

“This individual was caught in the act of littering and after initially acting dismissive, eventually accepted her actions. However, she has made no attempt to pay the fixed penalty fine, so the matter was brought before the court.

“Cigarette ends are unsightly, and harm the environment, taking between 18 months and 10 years for their component parts to decompose. Smokers are encouraged to dispose of their smoking litter in the bins provided or take it home with them.”


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