Donna Forkin has paid a heavy price for littering the street in High Street, Glynneath, unaware a Neath Port Talbot Council Waste Enforcement Officer was nearby
The incident happened in October 2022 while the officer was conducting a dog fouling / littering patrol in the Glynneath area.
Ms Forkin did not attend the trial, which proceeded in her absence. The officer told Swansea Magistrates on May 18th, 2023, that he saw Ms Forkin, 47, of Heathfield Avenue, Glynneath, smoking on High Street, Glynneath.
He added that after a short time he witnessed Ms Forkin throw the cigarette she had been smoking in a “dart throwing” motion from the pavement onto the highway.
The officer told the Court that Ms Forkin ‘sighed’ when he introduced himself and informed her he had witnessed her throwing the cigarette onto the highway. She confirmed she would accept a Fixed Penalty Notice for the action, an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and signed the Fixed Penalty Notice.
However, as no payment was made within the prescribed period, Mrs Forkin was re-visited by the officer in November 2022 and handed a reminder letter. A second reminder letter was later sent but no payment was made and a decision was taken to prosecute in court.
After the trial, Swansea Magistrates thanked the Waste Enforcement Officer for ‘a valuable job carried out in controlling pollution of the environment”.
Finding the defendant guilty in her absence, Ms Forkin was fined £126, ordered to pay £794.89 in prosecution costs, together with a £50 victim surcharge, resulting in a total sum of £970.89.
Cllr Scott Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Engineering, said: “Discarded cigarette ends blight communities in our towns, valleys and villages and sadly are one of most common forms of littering we see.
“They harm the environment and can take many years to decompose. Anyone issued with a fixed penalty notice for such matters must pay the fine or the council will go to the courts. We respectfully encourage smokers to dispose of their smoking litter responsibly.”