Man fined £50 for littering after throwing McDonald’s to seagulls from his car

A motorist has accused a council of extortion after he was ordered to pay for chucking ‘tiny pieces’ of a McMuffin some birds.

Ian Chapman, 62, was ordered to pay £50 for throwing bits of his McDonald’s egg and cheese breakfast in a Morrisons car park.

He said: ‘I can’t understand. They’re criminalising hard-working people, for what reason I don’t know. It just seems like extortion to some degree. It’s absolute pettiness and that’s how they create an income.

Ian Chapman said he left some little pieces of bread for birds in a Morrisons car park (Picture: SWNS)
He was surprised to receive a fine for £50 for dropping pieces of the McMuffin (Picture: SWNS)

‘I opened the window and threw two tiny bits of bread from my bun to about 20 seagulls, and that was it.

‘You can imagine two pieces of bread between about 20 seagulls. It was gone in seconds.’

However two days later he received a fixed penalty notice from Nottingham City Council for ‘leaving litter and moving away’.

Defending the decision to fine Ian, Councillor Toby Neal said: ‘This involved an incident when one of our officers observed someone throwing a significant amount of food waste from the window of a car.

‘It was clearly an act of littering, which wasn’t disputed at the time since the fine was paid.

‘We’re not in the business of stopping people feeding birds, but if that becomes dumping a lot of food waste on the ground as in this case, then we will act to keep our city the cleanest in the UK and dissuade others from thinking that littering is okay.’

There were no seagulls available for the photoshoot, but a duck arrived just in time (Picture: SWNS)

Ian, a member of the RSPB and Bat Conservation Trust, said: ‘I tried to explain to the powers that be that if I was intending on littering, I would have thrown more than two bits of bread out of the window.

‘I would’ve thrown the rest of it, and the packaging. It wasn’t food waste. It was at my expense, these two little bits of bread. It’s not in itself a crime.’

He said: ‘I would never dream of littering. It seems crazy that they do this to ordinary people.’

Ian has now paid the fine because he ‘didn’t trust the council not to escalate it to something bigger’, before speaking to the press.

He said the bread was gone in seconds after being swooped on by 20 seagulls (Picture: SWNS)

The council said feeding birds is considered littering because it leads to further problems.

They said: ‘These problems can include the bread attracting pests and vermin, low flying birds causing an accident by distracting drivers and pedestrians, as well as the mess left by both the bread and birds.

‘There is no guarantee that the birds will eat everything you dispose of therefore Community Protection Officers (CPOs) will issue Fixed Penalty Notices as it is an offence.’.


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