'First' spitting court case: London men fined £160

  • 25 September 2013
  • From the section London
Khasheem Kiah Thomas after the incident
Image caption Khasheem Kiah Thomas was given a fixed penalty notice in February

Two men have been fined £160 each for spitting in the street - in what is thought to be the first UK case of its type to be successfully taken to court.

Khasheem Kiah Thomas, from Hackney, and Zilvinus Vitkas, from Ilford, were handed £80 fixed penalty notices for spitting by Waltham Forest council in north-east London in February.

They refused to pay and challenged the policy but lost their case on Friday.

The council said it was the first to prosecute successfully for spitting.

It said it was thrilled Thames Magistrates' Court had backed its "tough stance".

'Unsavoury behaviour'

Councillor Clyde Loakes, the council's deputy leader, said: "Spitting in public is a foul habit and simply not acceptable on the streets of Waltham Forest in this day and age.

"We made a decision to use the powers we have at our disposal to crack down on this most unsavoury behaviour."

In addition to the fines, the men were also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and costs to the council of £120. The men did not attend the court and were convicted in their absence.

In February, the council's enforcement officers started issuing fixed penalty notices in the same way they sometimes do for littering offences.

The council said it had issued 25 fines for spitting since the beginning of the year.

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