AN Amman Valley woman has been fined £75 and ordered to pay court costs of £95 after dropping a cigarette end at Cross Hands Business Park.

Nicole Samantha Hornsby entered a guilty plea by post of an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Carmarthen Magistrates Court.

The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The court heard that on Wednesday, January 29, the council’s environmental enforcement officers were driving on patrol in Heol Stanllyd when they saw a cigarette end being thrown from the front passenger window of the vehicle directly in front of them. The cigarette end landed on the pavement.

No attempt was made to retrieve the litter and the vehicle drove away and turned into the Co-op carpark.

The officers followed the vehicle and approached the front seat passenger and explained she had committed an offence.

Hornsby, aged 23, from Cannon Street, Lower Brynamman, was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. However, she failed to pay it within the specified time and was prosecuted through the courts as a result.

Council Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Councillor Jim Jones said: “There is no excuse for littering our streets. Many people do not think of cigarette ends as litter, but they are.

“It makes an area look unsightly and is difficult and very expensive to clean up as the ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement which makes them almost impossible to remove by normal cleaning.

“We do not want to fine people but we will not hesitate to do so if they continue to litter in this way.”

The council hopes this case will act as a warning to others that those caught throwing litter will be prosecuted. It follows a campaign to raise awareness of smoking-related litter.

An average of 40 tonnes of litter is removed every week at a cost of over £2.1 million per year.