Woman slapped with £200 fine after dropping McDonald's chips which were snatched by seagulls

Woman slapped with £200 fine after dropping McDonald's chips which were snatched by seagulls

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 22/05/2024

- 22:48

A mum-of-three said she unintentionally dropped some of her food whilst sitting by the beach front in Kent

A woman was fined £200 by a council after a seagull ate some McDonald’s chips which she had accidentally dropped.

Jacqueline Clarke, 34, was eating her food outside a Tesco store in Sheerness, Kent, when a couple of fries fell out of their box.

A seagull quickly flew down and scooped up the fast-food. Soon after, an environment warden, who was “hidden behind the cars”, rapidly appeared on the scene.

Clarke was told she was littering and was fined £200 by the warden - which she is now appealing.

Sheerness/McDonald's chips/Seagulls

A woman who accidentally dropped her fries was slapped with a fine after a seagull ate them

Google Street View/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

The 34-year-old said she simply does not have the money to spare.

She said that her and her partner had gone to a McDonald’s drive-thru on May 8. When the pair decided they did not want to eat their food in their car, they decided to find a place along the sea front to enjoy their feast.

After dropping the chips, an environment warden appeared in “about thirty seconds” and allegedly did not present any proper ID.

“He said it was caught on CCTV, and he's going to give us a £200 fine. We told him we just dropped a couple of chips and the birds ate them, but he said, 'It doesn't matter, you can't do that - so you're going to be fined’,” she told KentOnline.


“He gave us no chance to apologise or explain ourselves. I just said, 'We can't afford a £200 fine, what are we supposed to do?' He said it wasn't his problem.”

The Swale council officer witnessed the mum “feeding the birds chips” which he had “reason to believe was an offence”, according to the penalty notice.

The mum-of-three maintained that she did not intentionally feed the seagull, and was careful clearing up after herself and her partner, taking the rubbish away once they had finished eating.

Clarke also pointed out the irony that the area where she was sat was surrounded by litter, none of which she had dropped.

Tesco in Sheerness, Kent

The couple sat outside the Tesco in Sheerness

Google Street View

The fine - which was reduced to £150 if paid within 14 days - was later appealed by Clarke.

“I'm a dog walker, I’m on a really low wage, and I have three children under 13 years old,” she added.

“I’m appealing the £200 fine because I don't have the money in my bank account to pay it.”

A council spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing the matter and can’t comment on an active investigation.”

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