Man Drops Money On The Ground, Charged With Littering
(DAILY EXPRESS) A SHOPPER who dropped a £10 note in the street by accident has been fined – for littering.
Arthritis sufferer Stewart Smith was leaving a charity shop when the banknote fell from his hand, without him realizing.
Stewart, 36, at first expressed his gratitude to the two officers who approached him to point out that the note had fallen to the ground.
But moments later, after recovering the note, he was stunned to be accused of littering and slapped with a £50 fixed-penalty notice.
Mr Smith, who was forced to give up work because of his illness, receives just £98 a fortnight in benefits. But the former warehouse worker has just 14 days to pay up or could face further action.
It is thought the police were implementing a zero-tolerance approach to littering as part of a concerted effort to clean up their local area in Ayr.
But law and order campaigners last night slammed the move, describing it as petty and a waste of police resources.
Mr Smith, who is single, had popped into his local charity shop to look for a bargain.
He bought a £3 T-shirt and had been struggling with his shopping and a handful of change when the banknote slipped from his grasp along with a receipt.
He said: “I came out of the shop, with my T-shirt under my arm. I put £7 in coins into my front pocket, as I was going to buy some juice. I thought I was putting a £10 note and the receipt in my back pocket.
“But my shirt was hanging over the pocket, and the £10 note, along with the receipt, fell onto the street.”
Two officers stood nearby called out to him, pointing to the cash and the receipt on the ground.
He gratefully retrieved the money, but could not believe it when the officers approached him and accused him of littering.
Insisting it was an honest mistake, Mr Smith tried to explain but was told he was being fined £50 for littering.