A criminal record and a fine for over-filling your bin

There's plenty of things wrong with this country (the UK), but yesterday we seemed to sink to a new low. A chap in Cumbria has been fined and given a criminal record for the heinous crime of putting a little too much rubbish in his bin. The BBC web site has the full story, but basically the poor bloke was issued with a £100 on-the-spot fine, which he refused to pay and was then ordered to pay another £115 in fines and given a criminal record.

The local council had already reduced the number of bin collections from once a week to once every 2 weeks (that must be good for the environment - leaving stinking rubbish around for 2 weeks - can't wait for the summer) and the individual in question claims he does recycle what he can.

Now, you can take the hard line and say rules are rules but why, oh why, did they not simply ask him to remove one of the offending items of rubbish? How much did it actually cost in admin to get the total of £215? The cost of sending the "two law enforcement officers" alone must have exceeded that. And anyway, should they not be out catching murderers and other bad people?

Most of the time I just shake my head in despair at this kind of story, but this one just takes the biscuit.