A CAR-DRIVER from Gloucestershire has had to pay more than £300 in fines and court costs for throwing a cigarette end out of her car window.

Cheltenham Magistrates fined Mrs Alison Sargent, 46, of Welling Close, Dursley, £150 and a £20 victim surcharge as well as ordering her to pay costs of £150. She did not attend court.

Ms Sargent was parked in her vehicle on Park Parade in Stonehouse in January 2014 when she was observed throwing a cigarette end out of the car window by Stroud District Council’s Animal Welfare Officer.

The Officer approached Ms Sargent and issued her with a Fixed Penalty Notice, which would allow her to discharge the littering offence by paying a £75 fine within 14 days. Indeed, the penalty would be reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

The fixed penalty was not paid within 14 days and, despite two subsequent letters advising Ms Sargent of this fact, no payment was ever received. Consequently, the council took the matter to court, charging Ms Sargent for the original littering offence.

Cllr Simon Pickering, the Chair of Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee, said: “The Council, on behalf of local residents, takes the issue of littering very seriously and we are delighted that the courts have supported us in these efforts.

"Wherever possible, offenders are given an opportunity to discharge their offence by payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice. However, where that opportunity is ignored, we will not hesitate to refer matters to the courts, as in this case.”