Litigation Recent Decisions 08/08/95

Nature of litter; proving litter offences

Westminster City Council v Riding (1995).

(DEC (Stuart-Smith LJ and Butterfield J) 19/7/95).

Summary: When prosecuting for litter offences it is necessary for the prosecution to prove when the litter was deposited and that this was within the time limit for prosecutions to be brought.

Council appeal against the acquittal of the respondent of depositing litter so as to deface a public place contrary to s.87 (1) Environmental Protection Act 1990. The respondent had deposited 10 black plastic refuse sacks, empty beer and crisp cartons and bread bags contrary to ss.87 (1) and (5) of the 1990 Act in Church Street, Westminster and submitted before the justices that there was no case to answer as what had been bagged up awaiting collection could not be within the definition of 'litter'.