A man said he helpfully threw a piece of rubbish right in front of a street cleaner – only to get fined for littering.
John Stewart was flabbergasted after he was slapped with an £80 fixed penalty notice and taken to court.
A Lancaster City Council worker said she saw Mr Stewart throw a cigarette end in the road, which he denies.
Mr Stewart said: “I was sitting on the steps of the old church on Edward Street drinking a cup of coffee, waiting for a friend.”
“They were doing a full maintenance of the area and cleaning the street. I was minding my own business and was about to roll a fag.
“I saw a piece of paper on the floor next to me, picked it up and threw it in front of a roadsweeper vehicle, gave the driver a thumbs-up, then went and sat back down. The next thing, a council worker said to me: ‘I’ve just seen you throw a cigarette.’
“She called over a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer), who wanted my name and address. I said: ‘You what?’
“I told them what I thought of them and walked off.
“Then I moved addresses and went to the Isle of Man. When I came back, a bailiff came round and said I’d been fined £150 plus court costs. I said: ‘You’re having a giraffe’.
“I got summonsed to court and told the judge what had happened.
“I threw a piece of paper out of my own good will. I was doing nothing wrong.
“How much taxpayers’ money is this wasting? It’s a joke.”
Mr Stewart was given an £80 fixed penalty notice in September 2011 and was found guilty of non-payment in February 2012.
He has appealed against the decision and is awaiting a date for the hearing.