‘Litterbug’ fine fury

John Stewart and the area he was in on Edward Street when he was accussed of littering
John Stewart and the area he was in on Edward Street when he was accussed of littering

A man said he helpfully threw a piece of rubbish right in front of a street cleaner – only to get fined for littering.

John Stewart was flabbergasted after he was slapped with an £80 fixed penalty notice and taken to court.

A Lancaster City Council worker said she saw Mr Stewart throw a cigarette end in the road, which he denies.

Mr Stewart said: “I was sitting on the steps of the old church on Edward Street drinking a cup of coffee, waiting for a friend.”

“They were doing a full maintenance of the area and cleaning the street. I was minding my own business and was about to roll a fag.

“I saw a piece of paper on the floor next to me, picked it up and threw it in front of a roadsweeper vehicle, gave the driver a thumbs-up, then went and sat back down. The next thing, a council worker said to me: 
‘I’ve just seen you throw a cigarette.’

“She called over a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer), who wanted my name and address. I said: ‘You what?’

“I told them what I thought of them and walked off.

“Then I moved addresses and went to the Isle of Man. When I came back, a bailiff came round and said I’d been fined £150 plus court costs. I said: ‘You’re having a giraffe’.

“I got summonsed to court and told the judge what had happened.

“I threw a piece of paper out of my own good will. I was doing nothing wrong.

“How much taxpayers’ money is this wasting? It’s a joke.”

Mr Stewart was given an £80 fixed penalty notice in September 2011 and was found guilty of non-payment in February 2012.

He has appealed against the decision and is awaiting a date for the hearing.