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The £80 packet of crisps

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
The £80 packet of crisps

A FORMER council worker is disputing an £80 fine he received when a crisp packet allegedly blew out his hand.

John McCreadie, of Lady’s Well in Annan’s Moat Road, was stopped by two community safety officers and issued with a fixed penalty notice for ‘throwing a crisp packet down’.
But the 63-year-old claims the litter fell out his hand while he was walking along Bruce Street last Friday afternoon and blew away in the wind.
Blasting the fine, he said: “They pulled me up and said I threw litter down, but they did not give me an opportunity to respond to the accusation.
“Had they done so I would have told them that I suffer from a nerve condition in my hand which often means that my fingers open involuntarily.
“They did not inform me of my rights or any process or procedures to be followed and the way they stood over me you would have thought I was a criminal.”
Mr McCreadie has since sought assistance from Citizens Advice and has lodged a formal complaint with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
He adds that the threat of a court summons deterred him from challenging the accusation at the time, and he has now been told he is unable to appeal the fine as he has already paid it.
He said: “They could have given me a warning. There’s dog fouling in the street and drug dealing but they pick on innocent folk – I’m really mad and quite upset.
“It’s half my pension credit so I’ve not got any money left and I’m going to starve for the rest of the week.”
Responding to the criticism, a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said the littering incident was witnessed by two community safety officers and a fixed penalty notice was issued.
He added: “A fixed penalty notice is a conditional offer to an alleged offender for them to have the matter dealt with in a set way without resorting to going to court.”

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