Woman fined £75 for littering after binning cigarette butt in Conwy

Reporter:

Mike Williams

A WOMAN was fined for dropping a cigarette while on a visit to Conwy, despite putting her litter in a bin.

Hayley Graham, 41, of Knighstwood, Glasgow, was given a Fixed Penalty Notice for £75 near the town’s castle just before setting off home to Scotland after a six-day archaeology field trip.

An enforcement officer accused her of throwing the cigarette on the ground, and although Miss Graham retrieved it from the bin immediately, she was still issued with the fine.

She said: “I was absolutely horrified and in utter disbelief that I was being accused of something I hadn't done.
 
“I was in a hopeless situation, I was scared to ask the police to attend in case they didn’t believe me either and I’d end up being arrested.

“I reluctantly gave my details thinking I could argue my case afterwards, but the ticket had absolutely no information on it about appealing, with the only alternative being to go to court.

“I just burst into tears because I was totally embarrassed, humiliated and completely bewildered as to how I could have been accused of something I did not do.”

Miss Graham was in the town with 30 fellow students from the University of Glasgow, and said her ordeal “ruined” her visit to Wales.

She added: “The implication that I would visit Wales and behave in this disrespectful manner has completely ruined my visit and I can’t say I’d be in a hurry to recommend Conwy as a place to visit if things like this can happen to you there.”

After she sent a detailed appeal to Conwy Council, the authority withdrew the fine and apologised.

A spokesperson said: “If someone disagrees that they have committed an offence or feel that it was unreasonable for us, or someone authorised by us, to issue them with a Fixed Penalty Notice then we ask that they send an appeal in writing to Regulatory Services.

“Every appeal letter received will be considered on its merits, on the basis of the information and evidence provided by the appellant and by the person who issued the notice.”

Miss Graham said: “This fine should never have been issued in the first place.
“It is such a relief that the truth has prevailed in my case.

“However, I still seriously question the motives of these private companies and their accountability.”

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