A Widnes woman was fined by a court after domestic waste was seen at the rear of her home by neighbours and did not attend meetings to explain how it got there.

Charlotte Laughton, aged 23, of Cross Street, was prosecuted at Warrington Magistrates Court on Wednesday 31 July 2019 following a number of reports of controlled waste, namely carrier bags and refuse sacks containing domestic refuse having been deposited in the entry to the rear of her property at Cross Street, Widnes.

These were seen on Monday 26 November 2018, Friday 14 December 2018 and Tuesday 5, January 2019.

After a short investigation carried out by Halton Borough Council’s Waste & Environmental Improvement Enforcement Team, Laughton was identified as a suspect in relation to the deposit of the waste.

Laughton was invited to attend Council offices for interview on 21st February 2019. She contacted the Council to rearrange the appointment and a new date was set for 1st March 2019. Laughton failed to attend for the interview.

In order for the investigation to continue, a Section 108 Notice in accordance with the Environment Act 1995 was served on Laughton, putting a legal obligation on her to attend for interview on 2 May 2019 with any failure to attend without reasonable cause leaving Laughton subject to prosecution at Magistrates Court.

Laughton failed to attend for interview on 2 May 2019 or contact Halton Borough Council, breaching the terms of the notice, hindering the Councils efforts to investigate the incident and the case was subsequently referred to Warrington Magistrates Court.

Laughton’s case was listed under the Single Justice Procedure and she submitted a guilty plea by post prior to the hearing date. After taking into account the facts of the case.

She received a criminal conviction and a financial penalty totalling £320 which must be paid within 28 days.