Jeff fought for lawn but the council won

Jeff Pennington says he is physically unable to mow his lawn. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d420218
Jeff Pennington says he is physically unable to mow his lawn. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d420218

The 58-year-old was recently fined $3130.65 for failing to mow his front lawn.

In 2012, Mr Pennington was fined $250 by the City of Canning because his front lawn was deemed a fire hazard.

After failing to mow his lawn by the given time, he was taken to court by the City. He was found guilty and forced to pay $2880.65 in court costs.

Mr Pennington said he was unable to go to court, but sent in his plea of not guilty along with his medical records.

‘I couldn’t go to court because I could only walk about six steps and unless I can park right outside the front door, which you’re not going to be able to do in Perth, you’re not going to be able to walk there,’ he said. ‘I wrote a letter to the City of Canning asking if they would reconsider my fine based on my medical condition but they just didn’t do it.’

Canning Commissioner Linton Reynolds said City officers attempted to contact Mr Pennington, including six separate visits to his property and several unanswered telephone calls.

‘An infringement notice was subsequently issued to Mr Pennington and a contractor engaged to complete the required works on his behalf,’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘The City considered his request to withdraw the infringement notice but, given his history of non-compliance, failure to respond to cards left at his property and our duty of care to the community regarding fire prevention, withdrawal was not considered appropriate.

‘Mr Pennington subsequently elected to have the matter heard in court.’

Mr Pennington said he was unable to work because of an injury he received while working in 1994 and had been on Centrelink payments of $475 a fortnight as a result.

‘I was unloading a wheat truck and the lever that holds the tailgate shut when I was lifting the locking ring and it just flicked down and hit me in the side of the head,’ he said.

His memory, concentration, left shoulder and lower back have been affected since, with his doctor deeming him unfit to work. With no family to help him, Mr Pennington’s life has been a constant stress.

Mr Pennington will pay $25 off his $3130.65 debt weekly, a cost he said he can not afford.

‘I was just starting to catch up because I have a mortgage and companies were threatening to cut my power and water off,’ he said.