A mum couldn’t be-leaf it when she was slapped with a £75 fine – for dropping a small piece of lettuce from her McDonald’s wrap.
Emma Lawrence, 22, was issued with an on-the-spot fine by a council worker who accused her of throwing a receipt from her car window as she left a drive-through.
She explained that she had not received a receipt but had flicked a small piece of lettuce out of the window after it fell onto her leg.
Despite the leaf being smaller than the tip of her finger and biodegradable, Emma was told the £75 fine for littering still stood.
The switchboard services advisor has been told she cannot appeal the fine and will be hauled into court if she fails to pay up.
She said: “If it was chewing gum or a cigarette or bottle, then fair enough. But it is so pathetic over lettuce.
“The lettuce would have been gone by the time I was handed the fine, because a bird would have got it by then.
“Honestly it was the tiniest bit of lettuce, smaller than the tip of my finger.”
The incident happened on 19 August after Emma had given a friend a lift to the Passport Office in Newport, south Wales.
She stopped at the local McDonald’s at 2.30pm and ordered a £1.49 Little Taster Chicken Wrap which her friend paid for.
But seconds after they pulled up in the car park to tuck into their food the council officer knocked on the window.
Emma said: “All my friends were sitting in the car and I was like ‘I know for a fact that I did not have a receipt’.
“Then I realised that I did have a piece of lettuce on my leg and that I had picked that up and obviously it had gone out the window, so that’s what he must have seen go out the window.”
Emma tried appealing the fine handed to her by Newport City Council but was told because she physically got rid of the lettuce it was classed as littering.
“I rang the number that’s on the back of the fine, explained the story and asked where I stood,” she said.
“The woman sort of laughed on the phone, because obviously it’s a piece of lettuce.
“She said ‘hang on I need to speak to my colleague’, she came back and said ‘because you physically got rid of it yourself it’s classed as littering’.”
Emma has been told her only option is to take the council to court, which she does not want to do.
“When I rang I said ‘can I appeal it?’ because I don’t feel that I should pay they said no the only thing I could do was pay it or take it to court,” she said.
“Well I don’t really fancy going to court over something like that.”
Newport City Council has told her she must pay the fine by September 2. Failure to do so will result in a court case.