Family’s fury after being fined £60 for feeding squirrel in a park


A grandmum spoke of her anger today (9/12) after being fined £60 – for letting her grand-daughter feed squirrels in a churchyard.

Sandra Spearing, one year old Lacie-Loise Murphy and Emma Louise Dawson (SWNS Group)
Sandra Spearing, one year old Lacie-Loise Murphy and Emma Louise Dawson (SWNS Group)

Sandra Spearing, 45, was with her daughter and one year-old grand-daughter Lacey Louise Murphy waiting for a taxi.

After giving Lacey some Christmas cake she’d bought in Iceland, she encouraged her grand-daughter to give the cake to two squirrels they had seen in a churchyard.

She said: “I said to throw them the cake instead of wasting it.

“The next moment an enforcement officer came over and said ‘what have you just thrown?’

“My daughter said it was cake for the squirrels and he said ‘I am going to have to fine you’.

“The man saw the squirrels eating the cake. He said it was all on camera. I said ‘good, I’m appealing against it’.”


The Enforcement officer issued the fine to Sandra’s daughter, Emma-Louise Dawson, 21, at Sittingbourne, Kent, she took on the fine herself.

The standard fixed penalty notice of £60 was issued by Swale Borough Council.

Ms Spearing, of Milton, Kent, said: “What would have happened if my granddaughter had dropped a crisp?

“Would we have been fined for that? A crisp packet fair enough, I teach the kids to throw that in the bin, but it was cake we threw to the squirrels.

“I can laugh now but I was annoyed at the time. I’m definitely not paying it, I’m not paying #60 for feeding squirrels Christmas cake,”

A Swale council spokesman said their fixed penalty notice scheme was put in place to tackle genuine concerns about littering.

Speaking about the incident on Tuesday (8/12) in Sittingbourne, Kent, he said: “We need to investigate this claim to establish the facts and will speak to the enforcement officer to get their account of the events.

“We don’t encourage people to feed animals as it can encourage pests such as rats, which can transmit disease and cause damage to homes and businesses.


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