A MAN has been forced to pay more than £400 for failing to clean up after his dog – after claiming a back problem prevented him bending down.

Martin Rouski, 38, was caught by Pendle Council’s environmental crime officers letting his border collie foul in Conduit Street, Nelson in October last year.

The dog, let out on its own, then returned to a house just yards away in Ball Street before it was let back in and the door closed behind it.

Environmental crime officer Andrew Peart then knocked on the door and spoke to Mr Rouski who admitted he was responsible for the dog but that he had a back problem preventing him from cleaning up after it.

He was then issued a fixed penalty fine of £75 and was observed clearing up the mess with little difficulty.

But he did not pay the fixed penalty and, as a result, the matter ended up being taken to court.

In his absence Reedley Magistrates Court imposed a fine of £350 and he was also ordered to pay £70 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Mr Peart said: “It was clear to me that Mr Rouski had no intention of clearing up after his dog.

“It had been let out on its own to do its business and then allowed back into the house.

“Had I not knocked on the door to speak to him, I am certain that Mr Rouski would have left the fouling on the road.

“In Pendle we don’t tolerate the minority of dog owners who behave irresponsibly by allowing their dogs to foul.

“They give dog owners a bad name, make the streets look a mess and the fouling poses a health risk to humans and dogs alike.”

Officers have the power to issue a £75 fixed penalty notice and if this is not paid the matter is referred to to the courts and then magistrates impose a fine they see fit.