A MAN who urinated in the grounds of Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital became the first person in the city to be convicted of the offence under the littering act in court.

Gary Savage, 60, of Llwyn Deri Close in the city, was spotted urinating on a bench and a pathway in the grounds of the hospital on Cardiff Road by a community safety warden on October 6 last year.

Caerphilly Magistrates' Court heard he walked off in the direction of Belle Vue Park and the warden followed him and challenged him.

The court heard Savage admitted the offence and said he did it because he simply "had to go".

The warden pointed out there are public toilets inside the hospital and explained that the bench would now have to be cleaned, to which Savage shrugged his shoulders, the court heard.

Nicola Willis, who was prosecuting on behalf of Newport council, said Savage was issued with a fixed penalty notice and wrote to the authority admitting the offence.

He agreed to pay the fine in instalments and made the first payment on November 28 but has since failed to pay any more.

Savage did not attend court so was convicted in his absence for a littering offence under section 87(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

He was fined £200, ordered him to pay £75 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Ms Willis said this was the first time Newport council had made such a prosecution under the Act.