Legal bill for throwing banana skin in hedge

A MAN who threw a banana skin into a hedge has ended up with a £150 legal bill for breaking litter laws.

Gary Evans initially claimed it was not litter because it would break down in the fresh air – but was told it was still an offence.

As a result he pleaded guilty to depositing litter in a hedge on a path opposite Sowbrook Pond in Sowbrook Lane, Kirk Hallam, on March 8.

A court heard the incident was spotted by a neighbourhood warden from Erewash Borough Council, who was on patrol. He issued a £45 ticket for dropping litter but Evans failed to pay. That then increased to £75 but again the 21-year-old didn’t pay.

He initially pleaded not guilty and told the hearing in Derby: “I don’t believe that constitutes litter. If you went back the next day, it wouldn’t be there.

“I’m not saying I should be let off because there is always litter. But the fact is they don’t clean it up and want to charge me. This is not litter.”

But district judge Gwyn Jones told him: “A banana skin, albeit biodegradable, is still litter.”

He allowed Evans a brief adjournment so he could discuss it with his father, who also attended Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

He then returned and changed his plea to guilty. He was ordered to pay the council’s £150 court costs but was given a six-month conditional discharge meaning he no longer has to pay the original penalty notice.

Evans then produced a photograph taken outside his home on Dallimore Road, Kirk Hallam. He told the judge: “There’s always rubbish on my street. Never ever have I seen anyone on my street picking it up.”

After studying the picture, the judge replied: “I can see the point you are making.”

Evans, who is unemployed, told the court he does not claim benefit and the judge ordered him to pay the costs at £5 a week.