Published: 00:01, 13 January 2018
A “non-smoker” told a court he has now picked up the habit – after dropping a cigarette in the town centre.
Keith Moxom, 49, of Saxon Place, Horton Kirby, Dartford, claimed he had started smoking after an environmental officer caught him dropping a roll-up outside News Box Shop, in High Street, Dartford.
The former removal man refused to pay a £75 fine handed to him at 2pm on Tuesday, April 4, and the case went to court.
But it has cost Moxom more than £600 after he was found guilty at Medway Magistrates’ Court of littering.
Magistrates heard Moxom was standing just two metres away from a bin when an enforcement officer saw him drop something on the floor.
Prosecuting on behalf of Dartford council, Nicola Strachan said: “It is apparent littering is becoming an accruing problem in the area.
"This prosecution is in relation to dropping a cigarette.
“It may appear that it is not a huge crime but it doesn’t mean it’s legal.
“Hundreds of people drop cigarettes on a daily basis and this is why the council is taking action.”
"Hundreds of people drop cigarettes on a daily basis and this is why the council is taking action" - Nicola Strachan
Velina Kudinova, the environmental officer who caught Moxom littering, said: “I was 12 metres away from Mr Moxom; I was coming from Market Street.
“I am 100% sure – I clearly saw Mr Moxom drop his cigarette.
“There were no other people passing.”
Moxom, who represented himself, said: “I don’t go to Dartford very often.
“The council are not providing people with enough bins or ash trays.
“It is the council’s duties to provide the facilities; maybe a polite notice would come in handy.
“Since this I have started smoking.
“I hunted about for an ash tray outside the Holy Trinity Church. It took me five minutes to find an ash tray.
“I feel I was unfairly treated in the first place.”
It was not explained in court why Moxom had the cigarette, despite being a non-smoker at the time.
Chairman Carol Boorman, said: “I feel there is no comprehensive evidence that you produce.
“However, Mrs Kudinova’s evidence was very credible, so we find you guilty of dropping litter.”
Moxom, who had been charged with throwing down and leaving litter, was fined £150 and ordered to pay £450 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
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