A MAN has been fined almost £400 after dropping a piece of pie crust outside a market place pub.

John Gallagher, from Chester-le-Street, in County Durham, was charged with littering after he was seen throwing the pastry out of a car window.

He was due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court yesterday but did not attend the hearing and did not have anyone to represent him.

Magistrates found him guilty in the his absence and gave him fines and costs of £380.

Magistrates’ heard Durham County Council officer Ian Hoult, who is neighbourhood protection manager at the authority, had spotted Gallagher throwing a pie crust from the window of a black Mercedes while he was stopped in Bishop Auckland Market Place.

After throwing the crust, Gallagher drove away, leaving it in the road, the court heard.

Sarah Griggor, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said the incident happened at about 3.59pm on May 29.

She said: “The male driver dropped a pie crust out of the driver’s side window and drove away.”

He was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £150, which was not paid.

Gallagher, of Pelton Fell Road, will now have to pay prosecution costs of £130, a fine of £220 and a victim surcharge of £30.