A man who refused to pay an on-the-spot littering fine after Thurrock Council's Environmental Enforcement Officers saw him dropping a cigarette end in Grays will now have to pay out £741 in fines and costs after being found guilty at Basildon Magistrates Court.
Thomas Fedotovas, of Araglen Avenue, South Ockendon, appeared before magistrates on Friday 13 May, where he was ordered to pay a £207 fine, £500 costs and a victim surcharge of £34 for littering.
Leader of Thurrock Council and Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Anti-social Behaviour, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "There was ample opportunity for this man to avoid such a hefty fine. He should simply have disposed of his cigarette end in one of the more than 500 public bins we have provided throughout the borough or taken it home to dispose of properly instead of littering.
"Even after he had been caught he did not need to face such a high cost for his selfish actions. He could have admitted what he had done and paid a £150 fixed penalty notice. Instead of facing the consequences of his actions, he chose to not pay the fixed penalty notice and fight in it in magistrates court instead, and it has cost him dearly.
"I hope this serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can litter in Thurrock. Each year we spend £2million a year cleaning and greening the borough, which includes removing over 3,000 tonnes of litter from our streets and parks.
"We will issue fixed penalty notices to anyone we catch and will take anyone who refuses to pay that to court. When we issue fines we capture video evidence, so we are always confident that we will win in court.
"The best way to make sure you do not face any kind of fine is to put your litter in a bin or take it home with you."