A Poole man who threw his cigarette butt on the ground in Christchurch High Street has been fined £400 and ordered to pay £339 costs and a £40 victim’s surcharge.

The case, at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court on May 28, was brought by Christchurch Borough Council against Vlad Bogatu, aged 33, from Aqua Life Boat Quay.

Bogatu had discarded the butt while standing some seven metres from a waste bin and was handed a fixed penalty notice by a Christchurch civil enforcement officer.

Bogatu could have paid the penalty notice within 14 days which would have cost him £50 but, despite two reminder letters, he failed to pay the fine and the case was brought to court.

Neil Farmer, strategic director at Christchurch Council, said: “Some people may think that a fine at this level is very draconian, but Mr Bogatu had the opportunity to pay the fine and avoid being taken to court.

“We recently launched our Care for Christchurch campaign which asked people to take their litter home or at least put it in one of the bins provided.

“A cigarette butt is still litter and it is not acceptable to throw it on the ground, particularly when, with a ten second walk, it could have been put in a bin.

“Our residents have told us that they want clean streets and we will prosecute anyone who we find dropping litter.”