‘Litterbug’ cleared of wrongful conviction

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A woman who was found guilty of littering by a court in Chorley has had her conviction quashed.

Joanne Hopwood, 43, of Berwyn Grove, St Helens, was found guilty in her absence by the town’s magistrates in September last year as she did not attend court for the prosecution brought by Chorley Council.

She was issued with a fixed penalty notice which she did not pay, leading to her prosecution. However, at a recent hearing, magistrates in Chorley were told she had been unaware of the prosecution in September 2014 and that she had since sworn a statutory declaration that wiped her conviction.

At the time of the alleged incident, in March last year, she had been at a birthday party in St Helens.

The court heard the officer involved could not now positively identify her.