Lawbreakers hit with higher fines after ignoring council warnings

A total of 12 people have been fined by Brighton Magistrates for a series of offences including littering and using a disabled Blue Badge illegally.

The magistrates handed out fines totalling £2745 to the lawbreakers, some of who didn’t bother to attend their hearing and therefore faced higher penalties.

Each person now has a criminal conviction which could affect their jobs, getting insurance, loans and travelling abroad.

Sophie Wakefield, of The Avenue, Brighton, pleaded guilty to 2 counts of using a blue badge belonging to a person who had died more than a year earlier. 

She was ordered to pay a total of £430 made up of £200 plus £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also issued fines of £215 (made up of £100 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge) to nine litterbugs who chose not to attend court. The original Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) was £75. However, court action was taken after the nine ignored two reminders issued by the council.

They are:

•    John Betsworth (53) of Glenwood Gardens, Waterlooville

•    Chris Collis (30) of Chancel Close, Bristol 

•    Dean Daniel (27) of Windermere Crescent, Worthing 

•    Aaron John Kemp (31) of Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton 

•    John Baptiste Laneel (19) of West Street, Brighton 

•    Anthony McCloskey (27) of Hall Quay, Great 

•    Shereen Jasmine Phillips (32) of Walrond Avenue, London 

•    Martin Reybun (30) of Preston Park Avenue, Brighton 

•    Gabriel Winne (46)  of Hove Park Villas, Hove

Two other litterbugs did attend court and received a lesser overall fine of £190, made up of £75 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

They are:

•    Grego Kertesz (22) of Honeysuckle Close, Eastbourne 

•    Emma Martini (43) of Wilbury Road, Hove

Nick Hibberd, the council’s executive director of economy, environment & culture, said: “This sends out a clear message to people who throw or drop litter or use a disabled Blue Badge fraudulently. 

“It also serves as a strong and no-nonsense reminder that if someone does commit a crime they should pay the fine early and not ignore our reminder letters. 

“Hoping the issue will magically go away doesn’t happen and will always mean the issue escalating to the Magistrates court. That means the fine will be almost three times higher and possible even more. On top of that people then have a criminal conviction on their record.”