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Van driver slapped with eye-watering fine for ‘lobbing banana out of window’

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A VAN driver was slapped with an eye-watering fine for ‘lobbing a banana out of the window.’

Sean McMahan was fined £150 after he was caught throwing the banana skin out the van window.

Female arm throwing fruit waste out of car window. The woman in the car is demonstrating what some people do for real: throw waste in nature. This is forbidden, it’s bad for our environment and the police can give you a fine or penalty for this behavior.

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Female arm throwing fruit waste out of car window. The woman in the car is demonstrating what some people do for real: throw waste in nature. This is forbidden, it’s bad for our environment and the police can give you a fine or penalty for this behavior.Credit: Getty

But the case was passed to the council’s legal team after McMahan failed to pay the fine.

McMahan, from Herne Bay, Kent, was due to appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court but failed to attend and was found guilty in his absence.

Mr McMahan was fined £220 with a victim surcharge of £88 and council costs of £180, adding up to a total of £488 to be paid within 28 days.

Cabinet member for enforcement, Cllr Connie Nolan, said: “Many people enjoy a banana but they also make sure that when it’s finished, the skin is put in the bin, not lobbed out of the window of their vehicle. It’s just unacceptable behaviour.

“This case could have been sorted out quickly if Mr McMahan had paid the fine he deservedly received. Instead, it has gone all the way to court.

“A banana that cost only a few pence to start with has landed him with a fine of almost £500. I can’t imagine there will be many bananas more expensive than that.”

New fines for littering offences in the Canterbury district came into effect on January 1, prompting a strong backlash.

Under the new rules, fixed penalty notices have risen from £150 to £200, with an early payment reduction to £100 if paid within 14 days.

Fly-tipping fines also increased from £400 to £1,000, with reductions for prompt payments being removed.

In July, the government introduced new legislation which increased the maximum litter fine from £150 to £500,while hiking fly-tipping penalties from £400 to £1,000.

Announcing the plans Environment minister Rebecca Pow  said: “

“Littering and fly-tipping are cynical and opportunistic crimes – damaging wildlife, creating eyesores and ruining our enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Criminals who spoil things for everyone else should be punished appropriately.

“Our anti-social behaviour action plan set out how we will help councils to take even tougher action against those who harm our public spaces.

“Today we’re taking the next step towards raising the limit on fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping from £400 to £1,000.

“This will deter potential offenders from dumping their rubbish and make sure that those who do face justice.”

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said: “Everyone loathes litter louts and people who dump rubbish.”

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