A SMOKER has been ordered to pay £320 after throwing rubbish on the ground in front of two council officers.

Michael Mayhew, 36, of Woodgreen Avenue, Banbury, was spotted discarding papers from his cigarette packet on the floor in High Street, Banbury, despite being about seven metres from a bin, according to Cherwell District Council.

He was given an on-the-spot £75 fixed penalty notice last November 6, which he failed to pay.

Banbury Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of depositing litter and fined him £200 in his absence after he failed to turn up at court on February 25.

Mayhew was also told to pay court costs of £100 and a £20 victim surcharge.

Afterwards Cllr Nigel Morris, the council’s lead member for clean and green, said: “There is never any excuse for littering but in this case what is even more aggravating is the fact that Mr Mayhew was standing just a few steps away from the nearest bin.

“Choosing to ignore it and simply throw rubbish on the floor shows a blatant disregard for the environment and the law.

“Mr Mayhew’s actions have proved to be a costly mistake and as well as the £320 he must pay, he will also have a criminal record.

“This goes to show our officers can be anywhere at any time and they will enforce the law as and when necessary.”