A man has been ordered to pay over £1,200 for failing to move an abandoned vehicle in Chester-le-Street.

Alan Williams was prosecuted by Durham County Council at Peterlee Magistrates Court after his red Citroen Xsara was reported as having been abandoned in the Gibside area of Chester-le-Street.

The vehicle, which was registered to Williams, had no tax or a valid MOT certificate and was left unlocked.

Read more: County Durham money laundering and cocaine-supply 'spearhead' jailed for 16 years

A neighbourhood warden visited Williams’ home in Gibside on March 21 last year and instructed him to remove the vehicle.

The 70-year-old was given a month to remove the car before a Fixed Penalty Notice would be issued.

The warden returned to the area on the April 22, but the car was still in the same place and remained unlocked and with no tax or a valid MOT certificate.

The vehicle was then seized.

Read next:

Williams was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for £200, or £120 if paid within ten days, for failing to remove the vehicle, but this remains unpaid.

The defendant was found guilty in absence on October 11 2022, but he chose to reopen the case with a not guilty plea.

Williams again failed to appear at Peterlee Magistrates Court and for a second time was found guilty in his absence.

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device with a subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here 

He was fined £440 and ordered to pay £600 in costs and a £176 victim surcharge.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore to the community and can be very dangerous. It is, therefore, incredibly important that they are either stored or disposed of correctly.

“There is no reason to leave a vehicle abandoned as there are plenty of ways to dispose of them. If this vehicle had been moved when initially requested there would have been no reason for court action and this hefty legal bill.”