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I was fined £150 for feeding a sandwich crust to a pigeon – it is hardly the crime of the century


A PENSIONER has told how she was slapped with a £150 fine after she threw the crusts of her sandwich to some pigeons.

Hazel Kirby, 61, has been forced to fork out the sum -which is triple the amount paid by Boris Johnson for breaking coronavirus restrictions.

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Hazel Kirby was fined £150 for throwing two small crusts from a sandwich to pigeons in Manchester city centre[/caption]

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Hazel Kirby said her punishment was triple the fine paid by Prime Minister Boris Johnson[/caption]

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Pigeons in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre[/caption]

She was told she was issued with a fixed penalty notice for a ‘littering offence’ under Section 87 of the Environmental Act 1990. 

And the fine rose from £120 to £150 because she didn’t pay within 10 days – as she was away from her home in Bolton.

Hazel told the Manchester Evening News “It just seems easy money to me to stop and fine someone for giving a pigeon a few crumbs of bread. 

“I dropped a crust to a bird – it is not the crime of the century. I do not drop litter and am a responsible citizen. 

“I just feel it is heavy-handed on the part of the council. It is triple the amount of money paid by the Prime Minister and it comes within the context of the cost of living crisis.”

Hazel had been for a hair appointment on March 31, and on the way home stopped in Piccadilly Gardens to eat a Marks and Spencer’s sandwich.

She explained “I had the two small crusts left over at the end which I threw to a pigeon which ate them up more or less straightaway.

“I just chucked it across and a pigeon swooped in and took it. It was there for a matter of seconds and as far as I am concerned, there was no littering. I went over to dispose of the wrapping in a bin and a woman from the council called me back.

“She was very careful to not tell me what the fine would be until she took my details.” 

It comes as Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak yesterday revealed they have paid £50 fines for attending a lockdown-busting birthday bash.

Hazel believes the fine is ‘disproportionate’ to the current minimum penalty of £100 for a speeding offence in a vehicle in the UK.

She said: “I have paid because I knew that if it went on anymore…she said it could go up to a maximum of £2,500 or I could go to court.

“When she told me how much it was, I heard the voice of a man behind me telling me to tell her to go away, in colourful language.”

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said in response: “We know that people want to see a clean city centre which is why we make no apology for continuing to crackdown on littering. 

“We have dedicated officers in the city who won’t hesitate to take action against any person found dropping litter, no matter what type of litter it is, and anyone who is caught can expect a fixed penalty notice.

“There are more than 700 bins across the city so there is no excuse for dropping litter.”

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