A LODGE Park couple were fined £1,000 by Redditch magistrates for failing to clean up their dogs' mess from their own garden, writes Melina Cannon.

Trevor and Julia Lee, of Dormston Close, were each fined £500 for three offences contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 plus £246.88 costs on February 27.

They each face a further £50 per day fine for every day the nuisance occurs.

The prosecution was brought by Redditch Council's environmental health team after neighbours complained to the council of 'pungent and obnoxious' smells.

Redditch Council environmental health officer Steve Shannon said: "Despite several requests the occupiers failed to comply with an Abatement Notice requiring them to regularly clear away the dog waste from the garden.

"We therefore sought to prosecute the occupiers to prevent the nuisance from continuing.

"We would like to think the level of this fine reflects the severity of the offence.

"We hope it sends a message to residents the council has legal powers to deal with such matters and will not hesitate to use them where necessary."

He also said if dog waste is not regularly disposed of it can pose a health hazard to those who come into contact with it.

Dog owners who do not clear their pets' mess from public areas can also receive a £25 on the spot fine and those who fail to pay are liable for prosecution, the maximum penalty being £1,000.

The council has placed dog waste bins in parks and open spaces to help owners comply with the law. They can also place dog mess in litter bins providing the waste is double-bagged.

For more details, call the council's environmental health department on 64252 extension 3223.