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Saturday, January 29, 2011
Grandma fined for picking up rubbish
A grandmother was treated ‘like a criminal’ after being fined £50 (RM250) for littering as she bent down to pick up a wrapper she had dropped.
Lesley Apps, 64, was also threatened with legal action if she failed to pay the on-the-spot fine handed out by a council official.
But she has refused to pay as she claims she was actually picking up the rubbish at the time and says she is now living in fear of debt collectors visiting her home.
Apps said she had just stopped at her local newsagent to buy a packet of cigarettes and had accidentally dropped the cellophane wrapper on the floor.
A female council officer approached her as she was bending to pick it up and told her she was littering, she said.
Despite Apps’ insistence that she was picking the wrapper up, the officer issued her with a £50 (RM250) on-the-spot fine which she refused to pay.
The fine comes in the week that the family of a man killed by Cumbrian gunman Derrick Bird say they have been denied compensation because he had a criminal record – for dropping litter.
Relatives of Darren Rewcastle say they have received half as much compensation as other families affected by the shooting as Rewcastle had a criminal record for failing to pay a fine for dropping a cigarette butt.
Yesterday, Apps said she had been made to feel ‘like a criminal’ and had not slept since through fear of debt collectors coming round to collect the fine.
She said: ‘I was doing the right thing but I was still punished. Maybe I would have been better off if I had left it.