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Ash Wednesday Antrim pensioner fined £80 for flicking cigarette ash on street on way to mass

The fined man said he had merely stubbed out the cigarette before returning it to the packet


The offending cigarette

The offending cigarette

The offending cigarette

A pensioner in Ballymena, County Antrim, has been fined for flicking his cigarette ash on the street.

The 72-year-old received the fine from a litter warden in Mid and East Antrim Council when he was on his way to mass on Friday August 27.

The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, had claimed he'd stubbed out the cigarette before returning the extinguished fag back into a packet in his car.

When challenged by the warden he said he had explained he'd returned the cigarette to an empty packet but said he was told he would be getting fined £80 regardless.

A newsagent who owns a store in the town took to social media branding the incident a 'disgrace'.

Eugene Diamond tweeted: "A pensioner aged 72, walking to mass flicked the ash of his cigarette this morning on Broughshane Street a council jobs worth fined him £80...

"You are a utter disgrace. These litter wardens seem to have missed the brief on litter. Here’s his cigarette that wasn’t discarded. Pouting face."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Diamond said the man “is a private person but he told me the story and he has now actually paid the fine”.

“I honestly think this whole set-up of wardens is wrong. When they first started, I thought they would be patrolling river walks and monitoring rubbish.

"I recycle and lift litter around my shop, but I think the council are taking this to a new level just to tax people more.”

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A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Council said they could not comment "on individual cases which may or may not be subject to enforcement, and no inference should be drawn from this”.

"Any individual wishing to challenge a Fixed Penalty Notice may do so by making written presentation to mea@wasteenforcement.co.uk.

“Council provides a wide range of litter and waste facilities throughout the borough to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of our towns, villages and communal areas are maintained. This also includes cigarette ‘butt pouches’ which are available from our Enforcement Team.”

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