A DOG owner has been hit with a fine after failing to clean up after his pet.

The £400 bill issued to Keswick man Kelvin Hughes is the latest in a series of convictions pursued by councils in Cumbria to clampdown on dog owners who do not clean up their animal’s mess.

And it has prompted yet another warning that people will be punished if they are caught flouting the law.

Eden Council brought the prosecution against Hughes.

The case was heard before North and West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle.

Hughes, of Latrigg Close, was charged with failing to remove faeces left by his Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog.

The court heard that this happened in St Andrew’s churchyard, in Penrith town centre, on March 28.

The accused was initially offered the chance to pay a fixed penalty fee of £75, rather than have the matter dealt with by the courts.

But the council says he declined and failed to pay within the allotted time.

Hughes did not attend the magistrates’ court hearing and the case was proved in his absence.

Magistrates fined him £220 and ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge, along with £150 court costs.

Karen Holmes, a senior community warden with Eden Council, said the case was the fifth fixed penalty notice for dog fouling issued by the authority in the past 12 months.

She said: “Our aim is to make sure Eden is as clean and safe as possible, for everyone to enjoy.

“This case should serve as a reminder that dog fouling will not be tolerated.

“We are prepared to pursue the matter through the courts if necessary.”

Carlisle City Council has pursued a number of cases through the courts for similar offences in recent years.