Litter cost a Somerset woman £250 and a criminal record after she was spotted throwing rubbish into a field.
It is the most recent example of coordinated action by Somerset County Council and all other Somerset local authorities to tackle environmental crime.
Miss Louise Johnson, aged 32, a single mother of two, from Eastfield, Martock, discarded the black sacks of rubbish over a gate into a field.
But she retrieved the waste when she was confronted by a public-spirited passer-by.
Prosecuted by South Somerset District Council at Weymouth magistrates, Johnson admitted littering and was sentenced to 12 months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 costs.
The court was told that Johnson, who works as a carer for the elderly, was of limited means, previously good character, had learnt from the experience and would not be doing anything like it again.
A Somerset Waste Partnership spokesperson said: “All councils in Somerset are working together to tackle environmental crimes, such as littering.
“If anyone witnesses someone else littering or worse, we urge them to be like the passer-by in this case, report the crime and be willing to give evidence.
“That will help councils get those responsible into court to be convicted and punished.
“There is no excuse for this type of irresponsible behaviour. Littering is a crime that despoils the countryside, costs money to clear up, and can be a threat to wildlife or pets.”
To report any environmental crime, from littering to fly-tipping, contact your district council’s customer services. For details, see http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/contact.