Wolverhampton City Council are allowing themselves to be dragged into the realms of expensive lunacy as they continue to seek the prosecution of a woman who they claim threw an apple core out of a car window.
The 26 year-old mother-of-three, Kate Badger, who works as a promotions girl has vehemently denied the charge according to today’s Express and Star. As she refused to pay the £60 on-the-spot fine Ms Badger now faces a crown court jury and the possibility of a £20,000 fine or a six month stint behind bars.
Only the defendant herself commented on the expense of the farce, stating that she thought the City Council were wasting taxpayers’ money.
Tim Clark, a spokesman, spoke on their behalf:
“A fixed penalty notice is issued in preference to a court summons for littering offences as there is no criminal record recorded if the fine is paid, and the penalty is less than that of conviction for littering”.
This sounds like the sentiments of an automaton, programmed to utter facts with absolutely no acknowledgement of natural and common sense.
This is a lose/lose scenario. What’s the best outcome Wolverhampton City Council can hope for? A mother-of-three is fined a crippling amount or, better yet, thrown behind bars away from her children for six months? If they are hoping for Ms Badger to acquiesce this is clearly not going to happen…
We have here a prime example of the inflexibility of a state bureaucracy that allows public sector management to gamble with taxpayers’ money to the tune of thousands of pounds. No-one is denying that those who offend should be dealt with in terms of the law, but at some stage it is more important that we employ reason.
In other words, if guilty, is the harm that Ms Badger caused by throwing her apple core onto a public pavement in Wolverhampton sufficiently bad that it warrants all of the time, money and effort it takes to throw the book at her?
I suspect not.
But rather than weighing things rationally, in terms of the crime deserving any action taken, our council bureaucrats can afford to be flippant and hit those involved in 'apple core incidents' and other similarly trivial acts with the full force of the law – after all, it isn’t their money.