A man was left to rue what was perhaps his most costly cigarette ever after he ended up forking out £440 for dropping a fag butt.
The hapless smoker, Albert Creevy, was spotted by council officials in Corporation Street, St Helens, carelessly disregarding a cigarette on the ground.
Creevy, of Martock, Whiston, was issued with fine in April but failed to be provide his name and address to the officers.
When council officials eventually tracked down the 62-year-old, he was hit with a subsequent charge for failing to provide his details to an authorised officer.
He appeared before St Helens Magistrates’ Court last week where he admitted both offences.
Magistrates fined him £75 for dropping the cigarette, plus court cost and compensation, bringing the total cost to £440.
A council spokesman said officer use a “range of methods” to track down offenders who failed to provide their name and address.
He said: “Failure to provide correct details when asked to
do so is an offence.
“Council officials, including dog wardens and environmental wardens, may use a range of methods to confirm the identity of someone they believe has committed an offence – and either refuses to provide their details or is suspected of providing false information.
“Radios linked to the police system enable them to quickly summon assistance from police community support officers (PCSOs), while access to DVLA records enables them to cross reference any vehicle details.
“In some cases it may become clear that an individual is returning to a particular address - which can also be used to verify identity.
“Video badge technology is also being rolled out to council staff, capturing images which will subsequently help to identify individuals.”