Fine for ‘idiot’ Barnsley litter lout

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A MAN who was caught dropping litter in the same village two months on the trot told magistrates he was an “idiot” when they fined him for the offences.

Barnsley magistrates heard that Peter Dawson, 31, of Wellington Street, Goldthorpe, dropped a drinks can on the ground, stamped on it, and kicked it down a drain in the village’s Victoria Street, in June.

The court heard that officers from Barnsley Council were on patrol there at the time, due to the number of complaints received about litter, and witnessed the offence.

Dawson was given a fixed penalty fine of £75. He contacted the council and asked to pay the fine by instalments.

But in July, council patrols were continuing in the area and Mr Dawson was seen dropping a sweet wrapper by the same council officers.

As a result, the fixed penalty was withdrawn and he was sent a summons to attend court.

Dawson pleaded guilty and was fined £200. He was also ordered by the court to pay council costs of £150, and a victim surcharge of £15 - a total of £365.

Magistrates told Dawson they were totally bemused as to why he would litter, get caught, and then litter again. He replied: “I’m an idiot.”

Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Council’s spokesman for waste, said: “Litter is a highly visible blight on our local environment, and the council has to deal with hundreds of complaints every year about it.

“Litter can deter investment, and it makes our town look run down and uncared for. It also costs the council tax payers of Barnsley a fortune to clear off our streets every year.

“I would hope that a £75 fine would be enough for anyone to learn that littering is wrong and they shouldn’t do it again, but not in this case. Mr Dawson was caught littering again within a few weeks, by the same council officer.

“His assessment of himself may be correct, but hopefully the £365 he now has to pay will make him realise the error of his ways.”