A woman was fined £80 for littering after wardens caught her throwing bread crumbs – to the birds.
Heartless rubbish spies spotted the frail woman sprinkling bread over her garden railings onto the pavement for starlings.
The woman, who has not been named, argued with the two street wardens but was slapped with an £80 on-the-spot fine.
Neighbours in Highfields, Leics., have condemned the ”heavy-handed” authorities and demanded the fine is overturned.
John Williams, 44, said: ”This is absolutely ridiculous. All the old dear was trying to do was feed the birds.
”But these two burly street wardens jumped on her and treated her like a criminal. I’ve been told that they were really aggressive.
”They should be spending their time and money catching the real litter bugs who leave drugs and beer cans in the area.”
Another mum-of-two in her 30s said: ”Fining somebody for feeding the birds seems a bit heavy-handed.
”The bread would have been eaten the bread anyway so it wouldn’t have caused a litter problem.”
Voluntary group St Peter’s Neighbourhood Monitoring started the campaign to catch litter louts last year.
Spies record residents who litter then post the footage onto Youtube. Neighbours are then encouraged to name and shame those dropping litter.
Footage of people who litter is passed to the local authority who are then able to use it as evidence to issue fines.
The area has been blighted with rubbish from take-aways being left on the street and syringes from drug users.
Several street signs warn about the dangers of leaving food in the area and leaflets are delivered to houses.
Group member Albert Berer defended the fine. He said: ”This person may have been throwing out bread with the best of intentions but there’s now no excuse.
”There have been plenty of warnings given to residents that throwing food out into the street will attract rats, mice and cockroaches and it simply mustn’t happen.
”Some people might think it’s a harsh state of affairs but actions such as this send out a strong message that littering of any form will not be tolerated in our area.”