THROWING a cigarette butt out of a car window cost a woman £120.

Mary Wharton, 44, admitted dropping the litter in Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, in September last year although she said she did not remember doing it.

The mum, who lives in The Willows in Colchester, was caught out by a Colchester Council zone warden on duty who saw her throw the butt from a Peugeot 406.

Claudia Lord-Lynch, prosecuting, told Colchester Magistrates Court the council had sent three documents to Wharton between October and November 2016, requesting to know the registered keeper of the car.

Two incomplete responses were returned - one asking for proof of the offence.

As a result the matter went to court.

Ms Lord-Lynch was seeking £250 in costs.

However, Wharton, defending herself, said she was under a lot of stress at the time because of her father’s poor health.

Crying in court, she told magistrates her dad had recently died.

She said: “At the time of the offence I don’t remember throwing it out the car.

“I always put my cigarettes out properly and recycle everything at home.

“I must’ve been driving to the chemist because I used to run back and forth to get medication for my young boy and mum.”

She added: “I’ve been under a lot of stress.

“I understand I’m in court because I didn’t fill in the form properly but I thought I had.”

Magistrates gave Wharton credit for her guilty plea and ordered her to pay just a £40 fine and £50 in court costs.

She also has to pay the minimum victim surcharge of £30.