A WOMAN has been fined for repeatedly leaving food and water outside her home – leading to a “substantial” infestation of rats on her street.

Sophia Sadiq had been ordered to stop placing food at the property on Boy Lane, Bierley, after numerous reports that it was attracting rats.

On Thursday, Sadiq was due to appear in court to answer charges brought by Bradford Council. She failed to appear and was found guilty in her absence.

She had been charged with failing to comply with a community protection notice – imposed to prevent her from continuing to feed rats, and failing to take steps to prevent pests.

Sadiq had been called to appear at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court on two previous occasions to answer the charges, but on each occasion had contacted the court to say she was too ill to attend.

When she failed to appear a third time on Thursday, Magistrates agreed to hear the case in her absence.

Ruksana Kosser, prosecuting on behalf of Bradford Council, told the court that Council officers first received complaints on March 11 2022.

She said: “There were reports the defendant had been placing foodstuffs on the floor on a daily basis, resulting in the creation of a large rat infestation.”

Officers visited on March 16 and witnessed “a substantial rat infestation.”

As well as the food, plastic tubes filled with water had been left outside. Mrs Kosser said: “Rats were seen eating and drinking.”

Sadiq was spoken to and told to stop feeding the rats, and advised that pest control measures were needed.

Officers attended again on March 18 and again “saw a large number of rats" with food still on the floor.

They issued a community protection order to Sadiq which required her to remove all food and implement work to end the infestation.

On another visit in April, they found food was still being regularly placed outside.

On May 3, they visited again and found no evidence of food being left outside.

However, on May 19 there was another complaint that Sadiq was again feeding rats.

On May 30, she was again ordered to clear the garden and to stop feeding wildlife immediately.

Mrs Kosser said: “Throughout Summer and Autumn, complaints kept coming through, with mobile phone footage showing rat feeding behaviour.”

A visit on October 12 found no traps or measures to stop the infestation.

Another on December 22 found food had once again been put out.

Mrs Kosser added: “Recent enquiries I have made show that this problem is still ongoing.”

Magistrates said it was clear the Council had made numerous attempts to resolve the situation.

Sadiq was fined £660 and ordered to pay a £264 surcharge and £926 in costs to the Council.