�245 bill for dropping cigarette

A FEMALE smoker has landed a �245 bill for dropping a cigarette butt in a Suffolk town centre.

Dave Gooderham

A FEMALE smoker has landed a �245 bill for dropping a cigarette butt in a Suffolk town centre.

Cheryl Simms, of Nelson Road, Sudbury, was hit with the large litter fine after she failed to pay a fixed penalty notice and was taken to court.

She was caught red-handed by an environmental protection officer from Babergh District Council who spotted her dropping the cigarette butt in North Street, Sudbury, in October.

Simms, who was not in court, received a fine of �80, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of �15 and a contribution to costs of �150 by magistrates in Bury St Edmunds.

Welcoming the court's decision, Joanna Hart, the council's environmental protection officer, said: “Whilst this may initially seem a trivial matter to some, it costs Babergh taxpayers nearly �80,000 a year to clean Sudbury town centre.

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“Smoking-related litter is the most commonly found litter on UK streets and makes up more than 40% of all litter dropped in this country.”

Last year, Babergh joined up with Sudbury Town Council to spend �10,000 on installing 22 new litter bins - all fitted with cigarette ashtrays - in the town centre.

During the morning when Ms Simms was caught littering, six other people were also spotted dropping cigarette ends within a 90 minute period - all of whom paid the fines.