A man has been ordered to pay out nearly £600 after he littered his cigarette butt in a car-park in Hampshire.
Smoking is getting more and more expensive these days - and probably with good reason - but that's probably the most that anyone has ever paid for a single cigarette.
Glen Barber, a native of the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby, gave officers a false name when the incident occurred in Hartley Wintney long stay car park, not far from Hook in Hampshire, on 17 October last year.
They obviously don't take too kindly to being led up the garden path, because Mr Barber was ordered to pay £578 in fines and costs by the powers that be at Basingstoke Magistrates Court.
Hartley Wintney Long Stay car park. Credit: Google Maps
What's worse is that the incident was captured on the CCTV cameras in the car park too, so he hadn't a leg to stand on.
As he left the car park after dropping his fag end on the floor, officers questioned Mr Barber about what he'd done. He supplied them with false information, which also carries a fine.
After he failed to pay the initial fine, he was summoned to court for non-payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
When he then failed to show up to the court in March, he was fined in his absence.
So, as reported by Grimsby Live, he ended up paying the £100 littering fine, an extra £200 for giving the authorities a fake name, court costs of £248, and a £30 victim surcharge.
That is how he ended up paying £578 for a singular smoke.
I suppose there is a lesson for us all in this sorry tale. Firstly, don't smoke. It's bad for you, and if that's not enough, there is also the chance you'll be done for chucking the butt onto the deck.
Secondly, don't litter. It's a disgusting habit and it can be an expensive one.
Even here is better. Credit: PA
Thirdly, for Christ's sake don't give a false name if you've been caught red-handed. You'll end up paying through the nose for it, like this guy did.
Speaking to the Basingstoke Gazette, Joint chief executive of Hart District Council, Patricia Hughes, said: "One of our key priorities as a council is to keep the district a clean, green and safe environment.
"This prosecution gives a clear message that we will not tolerate littering in the district and my thanks to the officers involved for their hard work in getting this case resolved."
Hopefully the guy in question has kicked his smoking habit following this. Some good might as well come out of it.
Featured Image Credit: PA