A 60-year-old man who popped out for a cigarette while buying a sandwich says he will go to court rather than pay a £75 fine for discarding the butt.
James Hoyle from Beaumont Park was slapped with the fine today (Thurs) by Kingdom litter police who accused him of throwing the butt in the road.
He says he put it in the bin outside JJ’s sandwich shop in Crosland Moor.
Mr Hoyle said he was approached inside the shop by litter police who claimed he had thrown the butt in the road.
He denied it but was confronted by an officer armed with a camera who told him what he said would be recorded and was given a £75 fixed penalty.
He claims he put the butt in the bin - but can’t prove it. However, he says they can’t prove it either.
Kirklees Council pays Kingdom, a private firm, to patrol the streets and hand out £75 fines when they see people littering.
In the past residents have accused the company of being “heavy-handed” and earlier this year it was forced to apologise to a dog walker who was incorrectly penalised.
Mr Hoyle, who says he is “intolerant of litter”, said: “Today I got a ticket for what was called littering i.e a discarded cigarette butt, only I was next to a bin and that was where it was deposited.
“I was totally shocked when approached by a warden who explained what I was supposed to have done. I complained and was then surrounded by another two officers. Why do they need three?
“My cigarette butt went in the bin. I showed them. They pointed to a old one on the floor, one of a few.
“I’m 60 years old. I don’t litter and never have done. I use bins or take it home.
“I am totally innocent. My ‘crime’ was that I was smoking outside a shop. They were issuing a ticket to someone else and the next thing I know I’m being harassed by what can only be described as over-zealous, mob-handed officers.
“I refuse to pay this ticket and will go to court over this injustice. I also took a photograph of the bin and ask Kingdom for undeniable proof of the crime if they can show it.
“My son was with me and he will testify how intolerant I am with regards to litter.”
A spokesman for Kingdom which is based in Merseyside, said: “We are not able to comment on individual cases. However, there is a process in place for representations to be made to the local authority in relation to the fixed penalty process.”