A PENSIONER was ‘treated like a criminal’ after being fined £75 for feeding pigeons crumbs from a sausage roll.

Zena Altham was issued a littering fine by Hyndburn Council after she was approached by a council enforcement officer in Accrington town centre.

The 73-year-old had gone into town with her daughter-in-law, Alana Altham, and had visited Poundbakery before returning to her car nearby to eat her sausage roll before going shopping.

Alana said her mother-in-law, from Clitheroe, had sprinkled flakes of pastry out of her window to feed pigeons near her car, which was parked at the top of the Broadway in a disabled bay.

But she was spotted by the officer who swooped in to give her a fixed penalty notice.

Alana said: “By the time he had issued the ticket the crumbs had been eaten by a couple of pigeons.

"I, my disabled father and my husband were all with my mother at the time and we could not believe what a ridiculous situation we were witnessing.

“My mother apologised and said that she was not aware that what she was doing was wrong.

“My mother was treated like a criminal and we as a family are disgusted at how pathetic this is."

Alana said she was told by the enforcement officer there were several signs on litter bins and other parts of the town centre, but the family said they did not see them.

They appealed the fine but a letter from Hyndburn Council said there were no formal grounds of appeal and the only way to dispute the notice was to go to magistrates court.

Alana said: “Zena was gobsmacked when she was given a ticket.

“Then when she received a letter back saying they had declined her appeal she became upset.

“While we finished our lunch we witnessed a group of youths and two men spitting, do they get fined?

“Do drunks who are vomiting in the street get fined?

“What about if you have been eating and dropped crumbs off your coat, do you get fined?

“We could understand the fine if my mother had thrown a paper bag, crisp packet, can, bottle etc, but no the council penalise a pensioner for feeding a couple of pigeons some crumbs.”

Hyndburn Council signed a contract with company Kingdom last year which provides officers to patrol, catching litter louts and people who don't clean up after their dogs.

The company also operates in Blackburn with Darwen and Burnley.

On the website, a council spokesman said: “Authorities now have the power to issue residents with a £75 fixed penalty notice for dropping litter on the street. Anyone caught dumping waste in a litter bin can also face a fine up to £1,000.”

Hyndburn Council was unable to provide a comment.