BAKERY bosses in Bolton have pledged to help out a pensioner with a littering fine - after she was caught feeding crumbs from one of their sausage rolls to a pigeon.

Zena Altham insists she had been 'treated like a criminal' by a Hyndburn Council enforcement officer after the incident in Accrington.

But now Sidney Street based Poundbakery, where Zena bought the sausage roll, have offered to chip in and pay half of the £75 penalty she was issued.

Marketing manager Keely Silvester, from the firm, said: "It is frustrating from our point of view.

"Things are hard enough on the high street at the moment and this is just a deterrent.

"It is a big bug-bear for us so we wanted to help Zena out."

Her daughter-in-law Alana said: "This is a really nice gesture but this goes to what we said to the enforcement officer.

"We should be encouraging people to visit out town centres. I'm originally from Cumbria and moved to Lancashire 14 years ago when I got married.

"We used to go into Accrington three or four times a week for the different variety of shops. But you can't say that now and it's sad."

Her mother-in-law, aged 73, from Clitheroe, encountered problems after she had gone into Accrington town centre with, Alana, and had visited Poundbakery before returning to her car nearby to eat her sausage roll before going shopping.

Zena 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.

The family later appealed against the decision but were told, in a letter from the council, that their only recourse was to apply to local magistrates to get the fine overturned.

Alana said: "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."

Last year Hyndburn Council signed a littering contract with Kingdom, which also provides a similar service in Blackburn with Darwen.

The council has so far not responded to requests for a comment.