SEVENTEEN men and one woman pleaded guilty to urinating in public at night in Chester city centre.

The Chester Magistrates’ Court cases follow a crackdown launched last year by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Trading Standards unit and Cheshire Constabulary.

Five live in Chester, one in Ellesmere Port, there are five from North Wales – Buckley, Wrexham and Connah’s Quay – as well as others in Northwich, Helsby, Crewe, Stoke on Trent, Sutton Coldfield and two from Manchester.

Seventeen people pleaded guilty and the majority were fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £205 and a victim surcharge of £15.

One man’s case was proved in his absence and he was fined £120. Another was fined a total of £450 because the case also involved a smoking fine and a litter fine. Two others were fined £100 extra for litter offences.

Councillor Lynn Riley, executive member for community and environment, said: “Make no mistake we aim to eliminate this disgusting behaviour from happening in the city centre.

“These prosecutions are part of a committed partnership with the police to prosecute these offences, most of which were captured on CCTV.

“We are determined to crack down on such behaviour and send out the message that it will not be tolerated.

“We want to see everyone able to enjoy visiting Chester but when the actions of a few spoil it for the rest, we will act.”

Sgt Andy Burrage, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: “These sentences reflect the anti-social nature of the offences and the dim view that the magistrates take of this type of behaviour.”

“Urinating in public, particularly on the Rows, is not just anti-social. It damages the fabric of the Rows and leaves unpleasant odours for people using the area by day.”