Mystery donor settles chip fine dispute

AT LAST the saga of the chip, the seagull and the £50 fine has a happy ending . . . with charity the real winner.

AT LAST the saga of the chip, the seagull and the £50 fine has a happy ending . . . with charity the real winner.

The dispute erupted when Ipswich teenager Jack Double was served with a fixed-penalty fine for throwing half a chip to a seagull.

He refused to pay the fine, and his outraged mother Mandy accused Ipswich Borough Council of being heavy-handed in pursuing the Chantry schoolboy.

He was given 28 days to pay the fine, which ran out earlier this week, and now it has emerged that an anonymous benefactor paid the fine - in cash - at the counter of the council's customer service department at the Town Hall.

And the council has promised to donate £50 to The Evening Star's Somebody's Daughter appeal which is being run in conjunction with the borough.

A spokesman for the council said: “When we heard the fine had been donated by an anonymous donor we felt it would be right to channel it to the appeal.

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“Legally we could not just put the cash into the appeal. It has to go through our accounts but we will be donating that amount to the appeal in lieu of this fine.

“We hope that everyone will be happy with this solution.”

Miss Double, of Mallard Way, said the level of the fine was never the issue. She said: “Our point was always that Jack is not the kind of lad to make a mess like this - just three weeks before the chip incident he was given an award for helping to keep Ipswich tidy.”

She said there was a great deal of uncertainty about the council's policy on litter before Jack's case.

“I have heard from adults who didn't know it was an offence to drop a chip, so how could a child expect to know,” she said.

“At least now everyone knows what the policy is.

“I am grateful to this person who has paid the fine and I think it is brilliant that the council is giving it to the appeal.

“That is a very good cause and I am glad it is benefiting from this sad business.”


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