n A SMOKER fined £50 for lighting up in a pub when it is against the law claimed the “landlord allowed her” to, a court heard.

Natasha Fowler, of Crossdale Road, Breightmet, admitted smoking in the Nelson Hotel in Chorley Old Road, on May 12, 2012.

Prosecutor Andrew Morris told Bolton Magistrates Court that Bolton Council officers were carrying out routine licensing visit in the pub when one of the officers noticed the smell of smoke, particularly in the pool room area.

He said: “After the inspection they walked around inside the building and saw the defendant with a lit cigarette in her hand with about a centimetre of ash at the end. Fowler said she hadn’t realised she had lit the cigarette.”

Fowler gave her name and address to the officers but it was her cousin’s address, where she was living but no longer lives there so did not receive the fixed penalty address.

Fowler, an accountancy student, who appeared at court on Wednesday without representation, said: “I knew it was wrong but we were allowed by the landlord. I did know it was wrong, but I was drunk as well.”

Chairman of the bench Michael Smethurst, sentencing, said: “We have taken into consideration your guilty plea and that you knew it was wrong. You knew you shouldn’t do it. You will pay £50 costs, £150 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.”

Fowler offered to pay the costs at £20 a month, but magistrates asked her to pay £30 due to spending £20 a week on cigarettes and alcohol.