A DOG owner has been told to pay more than £1,000 for failing to clear up 'disgusting' amounts of dog mess in his back garden.

Matt Scott was prosecuted for allowing faeces from his two of his bull mastiff dogs build up on his decking in Hud Rake, Haslingden.

The 41-year-old failed to observe an abatement notice issued by Rossendale Council in June ordering him to clean up the mess.

Neighbours complained when the smell from the 'industrial scale problem' became so bad they were forced to keep their windows closed.

Russell Murray, who lives next door, said the problem had been an issue since May 2016 when he asked Scott to remove the dog mess.

He said: "The smell was absolutely disgusting, it was really awful.

"The problem came back during the summer and there was just lots and lots of dog dirt everywhere.

"I had to keep my windows shut because the smell would get inside and as you can imagine, it was extremely strong.

"I have dogs myself and I manage to pick up the mess, so why didn't he?

"It was making things very difficult. I offered to give him cleaning fluid to help him clean the mess up.

"There have been flies and rats spotted near the dog mess and going into other people's gardens.

"I moved here 10 years ago and if I knew what sort of problems I would have been faced I would have gone elsewhere."

Being fined for failing to pick up dog mess in private garden is rare, while anyone who refuses to clean up after their pets in a public place can face a fine of £75.

Another Hud Rake resident said: "At one point we struggled to go outside because the smell was so bad.

"I don't know how the owners let the garden get like that, I would have to clean it up.

"I'm glad the mess has gone now. I hope all the other neighbours are happy as well."

Scott was ordered to pay a fine of £660, with £435 costs and a £66 victim surcharge at Burnley Magistrates Court.

Cllr Jackie Oakes, portfolio holder for operations at Rossendale Council, said: "This was dog mess on an industrial scale.

"If I was a neighbour I would be absolutely mortified about the situation.

"We hope this can be a warning to pet owners that action will be taken.

"As large as this was, we have several cases ongoing of other pet owners who have been failing to clean up after their pets.

"However it takes time for them to go through the courts and for people to be prosecuted.

"There are many reasons as to why this sort of situation arrives, pet owners can become overwhelmed and unable to look after their animals.

"Or they can be ignorant and feel a dog only needs to be let out into the garden to satisfy its walking needs.

"One of our concerns is we need to make sure the dog's welfare is being looked after, as well as looking at the health risks this sort of mess can bring.

"The council should not be in a position where it has to take action like this. Clearing up after your dog is a basic duty of an owner."