Window fitter fined for smoking in work van

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A window fitter spotted smoking in his van was ordered to pay £750 at Milton Keynes Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Graham Firness, of 208 Kiln Way, Wellingborough, was spotted smoking in his van on October 19, last year by two environmental health officers working for Milton Keynes Council.

Mr Firness was issued with a Fixed Penalty fine of £50 and if paid within 15 days it would have been reduced £30 but he refused to pay and the issue went to court.

He was charged under the Health Act 2006 for smoking within an enclosed work space, namely his work vehicle, while carrying a passenger.

Mr Firness, who was representing himself, pleaded not guilty but magistrates found him guilty, fined him £130 and ordered him to pay court costs of £600.

The court had heard that council officers were engaged in an operation called Operation Rogue with Thames Valley Police when the offence occurred.  The operation was aimed at disrupting the activities of doorstep criminals who travel large distances to commit crime and distraction burglaries.

Simon Teesdale, environmental health team leader for MKC, said: “Smoking in the workplace whether it be in the office or in a vehicle used for work has not been permitted since 2007.

“I am glad to say the vast majority of people respect that this law is for the protection of everyone’s well being as passive smoking is recognised by medical experts as posing a serious risk to health.”