A man will have to pay out nearly £9,000 after he was convicted of 18 counts of illegal advertising.
Michael Rowan, 62, of Stile Hall Parade, Chiswick was found guilty and sentenced at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 20 October 2011 after a lengthy investigation.
Posters advertising Rowan’s Café and Wine Bar, Chiswick, were illegally posted on lampposts, phone boxes and other street furniture – costing the council hundreds of pounds to remove. The problem first emerged in 2008, but the council gave Rowan several opportunities to stop the practice and remove the posters, before finally bringing the prosecution.
Rowan claimed the fly-posting was carried out by a marketing company without his knowledge. He also claimed that he was no longer the proprietor of the café, which he said had changed hands. But magistrates rejected his excuses after hearing that payments in respect of the business still passed through accounts controlled by Rowan.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Fly-posting is an eyesore and it costs a lot of money for the council to clean-up. This man was told time and time again to stop advertising illegally, but he ignored every warning. Traders need to know that they can’t just disobey the law and get away with it.
“My tip to Mr Rowan and others like him would be to take heed of the law and the council, otherwise they will be made to pay for it. I’m pleased the court has taken the matter seriously and made him pay nearly £9,000 in fines, compensation and costs.”
Magistrates fined Rowan £50 for each of the 18 counts and ordered him to pay £32 per poster in compensation to cover the removal costs. He was also ordered to pay the council’s £7,458.27 legal bill, bringing the total he will have to pay to £8,949.27.
Rowan was convicted of 18 counts contrary to regulations five and 27 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations 1992 and section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The 18 offences were committed between August 2010 and January 2011.