A FORMER council litter picker who accused his boss of victimising him has been prosecuted by magistrates after he dropped the cellophane wrapper from a packet of cigarettes and refused to pay a littering fine. Robert Osbourn, 21, of Crosby Court, Monk Bretton, refused to pay the £75 fine he was given in June this year when he dropped the cellophane wrapper from his cigarette packet on Cheapside. He claimed he had not intentionally dropped any litter, and that he thought he was being victimised by his former manager at Barnsley Council following an argument. He also said that he had called the council to ask if he could pay the fine by instalments. But the council provided evidence which showed his manager had no involvement with the fine - and records of his phone conversations proved that he had said he would rather go to court than pay it.

Mr Osbourn pleaded guilty to an offence of littering when he appeared at Barnsley Magistrate's Court on December 1 - he was ordered to pay the £75 fine and £100 towards the council's costs. ** Mr Osbourn posted this statement on the We Are Barnsley wall earlier today: "Yes I was fined for litter and yes I was a council worker but the thing I did wasn't done on purpose... If Barnsley Council really want to start fining people over cellophane then I think Barnsley Council should be out on a Friday and Saturday night when people are causing rats by throwing takeaway boxes away food left in them." **

Coun Roy Miller, (pictured) council spokesman, said: "This case sends out a clear message to those who get fined for littering - they should pay their fines or they will face prosecution. Litter in the town centre creates a bad impression for everyone, including visitors and those who might want to invest in the area. "Barnsley Council spends £1.6 million each year litter picking and cleaning across the borough. There are numerous bins in the town centre for people to use, if you have litter please look after your environment and bin it."