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Woman is left ‘deflated’ after being fined £150 for ‘feeding the birds’

A woman said she was left ‘deflated’ after she was slapped with a £150 fine after a pigeon swopped down on a small piece of baguette she dropped.

Leonie Ormsby, 22, said the tiny piece of bread, which she dropped by accident, was the size of a one pound coin.

It is the second time in four days that a ‘pigeon feeding fine’ has been handed out in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.

Last Sunday, Kerris Fenn, also 22, said she ripped up part of a Greggs vegan sausage roll into ‘tiny pieces’ to feed a small group of birds as they looked ‘quite sweet’.

She paid £120 to Manchester City Council – a slightly reduced amount as she paid it within ten days.

Leonie, from Droylsden, said she had sat down to eat her Greggs steak bake with her boyfriend, who ordered the tuna baguette, on Monday.

After she finished the steak bake, she had a bite of her partner’s sandwich.

She said: ‘There was a little bit left of the baguette. I had a bite, then dropped it on the floor at the side of my foot.

‘I dropped one bit of food, I didn’t think it was bad. It was the size of a pound coin. I have never littered in my life. 

‘We were sitting having a nice time. There was no warning. There was no one around me. The pigeons flocked around but it was the tiniest bit. 

It was gone within one peck. It was the end of the baguette. There was no filling in it. These two officers came over. 

‘They said “I have seen you feeding the pigeons”. He said “you are on camera”. I said “I don’t want to give details”.

‘He said “if you don’t give your details it will go to court”. I’m going to uni, I can’t have anything on my record.’

Leonie said she hasn’t paid the fine and plans to appeal it.

She said: ‘It’s just deflating, £150 is a lot of money. It’s not a joke when you get fined this much money. I can’t really afford that. 

‘If they warned me, I wouldn’t have done it again. I nearly started crying. I have never been in trouble. 

‘It seems crazy, you feel a bit attacked. I thought “what is my mum going to say?”. I can’t believe it.’ 

Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, said: ‘Feeding the pigeons is littering, plain and simple. Clear signs are in place in Piccadilly Gardens to advertise this fact.

‘While we take no pleasure in handing out Fixed Penalty Notices to offenders, it’s extremely important that people understand that they should not be feeding the birds in this way.

‘Illegally dropping food for the pigeons is bad for the local environment and can also be harmful to the birds, as many items intended for human consumption are not suitable for them to eat.’

It comes after Kerris Fenn, 22, tore up Greggs vegan sausage roll and scattered it for the birds after they ‘sweetly’ gathered around her last Sunday.

She was quickly collared by Piccadilly Gardens’ enforcement officers who she claims demanded to see her ID before slapping her with the hefty penalty. 

Manchester City Council has defended its zero tolerance approach to littering, yet Ms Ferris insists the pigeons gobbled up all the scraps and branded the fine ‘crazy’.

She said: ‘It’s the most expensive lunch ever. I’m not going back (to Piccadilly Gardens), definitely not. I can’t believe it.

‘I’m still angry about it. It’s upsetting how shocking it was, and how embarrassing it was – in front of so many people.’ 

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