A MAN found guilty of dropping a cigarette in Orpington High Street says he would rather go to prison than pay a £100 fine.

Bryan Langford, of Rookery Gardens, St Mary Cray, was charged with contravening the 1990 Environment Protection Act by dropping litter and failing to pick it up on September 17 last year.

The 58-year-old, who is a full-time carer for his disabled wife, admits he dropped the cigarette, but claims he picked it up almost immediately.

After hearing the verdict he told News Shopper that the £100 fine and £875 court costs will leave him in desperate financial straits.

He said: "I might as well go jump under a train.

"I am f****d and they want me to pay all this money - all over a cigarette that I picked up.

"I'd rather go to prison for three months than pay the fine."

Mr Langford told Bromley Magistrates' Court on Monday (25 March): "I admit I dropped a cigarette on the floor - but I walked into the Post Office and walked out to pick up the cigarette around 30 seconds later.

"Surely the fact I picked it up makes me innocent?"

Ranya Smilyanova was the Bromley Council enforcement officer who issued the fine.

She told magistrates: "I saw Mr Langford dropping the cigarette on the ground outside the post office and going inside.

"I waited outside for five or 10 minutes.

"I introduced myself and we issued him with a fixed penalty notice.

"He didn't come out after 30 seconds - he came out approximately 10 minutes after and that is when our conversation began."

However Ms Smilyanova also conceded that when she looked for the cigarette end she couldn't find it.

Bromley magistrates said the fact Mr Langford had left the cigarette initially meant he was guilty.

But with only £90 in income support and £58 of care money a week, he fears that paying the fine will be impossible.