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Smoker vows to risk jail rather than pay litter fine

Tue 15th November, 2011

A mother from Pontypridd in Wales says she would rather go to prison than pay a fine of nearly £500 for dropping a cigarette outside her home. 

Tracey John, 48, was fined £350 by local magistrates plus £100 costs after refusing to pay a £75 on the spot penalty.

Responding to the verdict, she said she had no intention of paying the fine, insisting she had been harshly treated.

She said: "I'll go to jail if I have to - there is no way I'm paying the fine for dropping a fag end outside my own front door.

"It is a question of freedom - I picked up the cigarette after I dropped it. It was outside my own house in my own street.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said it would not tolerate littering.

Nigel Wheeler, the council's service director for streetcare, said: "Eco-criminals will not be tolerated.

"The illegal disposal of cigarette related waste is the biggest single problem throughout the area.

"As well as creating unsightly environmental conditions, the offence can attract vermin.

"The streetcare enforcement team will do all in its power to eradicate this type of behaviour."

Source: BBC News (15 November 2011)

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