Kind-hearted big hit with £400 fine after dropping clothes bag next to donation bin


Pauline Yarranton, 68, claimed she is being fined £400 for “trying to help people” after she dropped off bags of unwanted clothes next to a packed charity donation bin

Pauline Yarranton, 68, received a £400 fixed penalty notice
Pauline Yarranton, 68, received a £400 fixed penalty notice

A great was hit with a £400 fine for dropping off bags of unwanted clothes next to a packed charity donation bin as it was deemed to be flytipping.

Pauline Yarranton, 68, received the fixed penalty notice for placing two small bags of jumpers and T-shirts next to the over-filled clothes bank.

But she is not taking the fine sitting down after claiming she is being penalized for “trying to help people in need”.

She left the bags by the clothes drop in her Nisa car park in Stourport, Worcestershire, last November.

Then two weeks later Wyre Forest District Council’s community and environmental protection officer wrote to Pauline accusing her of flytipping.

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Pauline left bags of clothes next to a full bin
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Pauline, who has five grandchildren, was ordered to pay £400 or risk being dragged to court.

She refused to pay up and appealed the decision, arguing that she was being punished for trying to help people in need.

“I placed items for those in need outside in front of a local recycling collection container,” said Pauline.

“I did it because I thought I might be helping someone in need. To my shock weeks later I received a fine for £400 from the council.

“I was gobsmacked. I thought they had the wrong person. I looked further down the letter and saw my car registration number.

Pauline has appealed the fine
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“I just can’t believe this happened because I was taking two bags of unwanted clothes – it was only jumpers and T-shirts and things like that.

“The charity shops at the time were not taking things at the time, because they were full from lockdown. I thought I would put them in the recycling bag and take them down to the recycling bank.

“This time, I couldn’t get my stuff into the bank. The door was wedged. I thought I will leave it front of the bins – like I have done in the past. I didn’t think I was doing anything illegal.

“The bin was next to a busy little shop, if I was doing anything illegal, I wouldn’t be doing it in front of a load of people. I did take this further as I’d no idea this was an offence.”

She said she is being fined for “trying to help people”
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Town hall chiefs then ordered Pauline to attend a meeting in December were she was grilled “under caution” for 30 minutes by two council officials.

She added: “I was interviewed by two local councillors. It was like a court set-up.

“Everything was recorded. It was really worrying. They had all the details. I explained my situation to them. The interviewers had said it had been reported by the shop next door to the charity clothes drop.

“At the end of the interview I had three options, pay the fine, go to court, or take a precaution. I took the caution. It was very worrying. I still couldn’t believe it had gone this far.

“The only thing I have had in the past is a car parking fine. It is not nice after 68 years to have a caution over me.”

The retired hairdresser is now warning others to be careful when donating items at clothes banks.

She said: “What I’m trying to get over to the public is just be very very careful where you are leaving items because you could be done for flytipping.

“Just be aware when you’re doing anything. It’s annoyed me that I’ve still had to have a caution because I don’t think I was doing anything illegal.”

A yellow warning sticker has now been placed of the charity bin, which says, “If the bank is full please take your property home.”

Wyre Forest District Council’s website states: “Leaving items beside street bins and recycling banks, on the floor of communal bin areas, or outside closed recycling centers and charity shops are all flytipping.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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