FAILING to return books about Peter Pan, the Milkshake Monkey and a penguin called Isla Waddlewing earned a Calne man a £280 court bill.

Swindon magistrates heard Christopher Taylor had failed to return 11 volumes withdrawn from Calne public library in February.

Taylor, of The Rise, acted as guarantor for his children – who had checked out the eight books and two tomes on Second World War history.

They should have been returned by February 25 and March 11. When they did not materialise librarians sent out reminder letters then notices warning Mr Taylor he could face prosecution if the books were not returned.

Sharon Lewis, for Wiltshire Council, said: “A final check was carried out earlier today and the items have still not been returned.”

Since March, the 11 outstanding books have earned Mr Taylor fines of £39.

The 11 books named in the charge were:

  • Alan Warren’s Burma 1942: The Road from Rangoon to Mandalay
  • Secret Underground Cities by NJ McCamley
  • Laurence Rees’ Auschwitz: The Nazis and the ‘Final Solution’
  • Peter Pan and the Return to Neverland by Robin Budd
  • Fiona Watt’s That’s Not My Monkey
  • Skeleton Book by Ben Morgan
  • Louise Forshaw’s Busy Vet
  • Milkshake Monkey, also by Louise Forshaw
  • Daisy Meadows’ Helena the Horse-riding Fairy
  • Chloe’s Secret Fairy Godmother Club by Emma Barnes
  • Daisy Meadows’ Isla Waddlewing Breaks the Ice

Failing to return books lent by Wiltshire Council libraries is a breach of byelaws enacted under the Public Libraries and Museums Act. It is an offence that can earn those convicted a £500 court fine.

Ms Lewis said £15,000 of Wiltshire library stock went missing or was stolen in 2017/18 alone.

“Some items may not be replaced as they may be out of print,” she told magistrates.

Mr Taylor did not attend the hearing and magistrates deemed the matter proved in his absence.

He was ordered to pay Wiltshire Council £39 in fines, £109.60 in compensation and costs of £100. He must pay a £30 victim surcharge.