law pages of Bournemouth and Poole College.
Her VW Golf was traced by the numberplate and she received a Â£60 fixed penalty. She refuses to pay because she was in a shop at the time of the alleged offence.
When the case arrived at the Magistrates’ Court Ms Badger elected trial in the Crown Court. Rather than back down the authorities intend to pursue the matter before a judge and jury; over an apple core.
The Litter (Fixed Penalty)(England) Order 2002 provides for the issuing of a fixed penalty for litter offences. Litter offences are controlled by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Section 33 of the Act makes criminal most dumping, dropping and disposing of waste.
When an offender refuses the option of a fixed penalty the authorities have the option to take an offender to court. As with all criminal matters the court is the Magistrates’ Court to start with and for serious crimes the option is the Crown Court.
The Crown Court sees cases of mass dumping of dangerous materials such as asbestos which usually result in prison. The Crown Court can impose five years a fine or both, magistrates are limited to a fine of Â£20,000 or six months.
The person who is alleged to have dropped the apple core has the choice of trial by judge and jury. In this case, there is no likelihood whatsoever of prison or large fine, but the trial will take place in exactly the same manner as a robbery or murder. Judge, jury, barristers and court officials.
According to the Daily Mail the case has already been running for 11 months and has consumed thousands of pounds in legal fees.
Our guess is that the judge will look for his Latin translation of de minimis non curat lex (the law takes no account of trifles).
Finally, AS students will be demanding to know why the text books and their teacher have told them that the magistrates can only impose fines of up to Â£5,000. The answer is that pollution offences have always been an exception to that rule but teachers and text book writers try to avoid complicating matters.