A kind-hearted nurse was left feeling dispirited after the council fined her £150 for leaving free apples outside her home for passers-by.
Lydia Farrell, 33, thought she was doing a ‘good deed’ by leaving the fruit in pots and boxes against a wall with a sign inviting people to help themselves.
She said the apples, which came from a tree in her garden, would have gone to waste otherwise.
But she was shocked when she received a fine notice from Ealing Council, west London, warning she would face court if she didn’t pay a £150 fine.
When asked how she felt after receiving the letter, she told Metro.co.uk: ‘Just very disheartened. Especially when I have to walk past all the real fly tipping every day at the end of my road.
‘We’d been away for a few days and not only did we come home to that fine but also someone had forced entry into our back garden and broken our fence.
‘So two real crimes committed by other people and I’m the only one who gets fined.’
She added: ‘I just felt it was quite sad that the council would fine me for doing a good deed.’
Expressing her fury on social media, Cynthia Lawton wrote: ‘Is that all the council has got to worry about? What about drug dealers trading outside schools? What about litter in the street?’
Nathan Farrell added: ‘This is a really really good deed, loads of homeless people in need of food, kids going hungry and people struggling financially so to offer free food to anyone is really good.
Since the backlash the local authority has withdrawn the fine and apologised to Lydia.
A council spokesperson said: ‘The council recognises that the spirit of the residents’ actions was with good intentions. We will be in touch with Ms Farrell to rescind the fine.
‘Our priority is to make sure the borough is clean and litter free and we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.’
Lydia told Metro.co.uk she plans to keep on offering free apples and she has some passion fruit growing too.
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