Manchester

Greggs paper bag lands student in court on littering charge, 11 years later

Greggs vegan sausage roll sat on a paper bag Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Vegan sausage rolls weren't on the menu when Grace Firth dropped a Greggs bag in 2009

More than 10 years ago, Grace Firth tucked into a snack from Greggs.

Somehow, the paper bag ended up on the ground rather than in the bin.

Now the 32-year-old student from Stockport has found herself in court, accused of littering.

Magistrates even questioned whether the date of the offence was a mistake because of how long ago it happened.

It took so long to be resolved because Grace said she knew nothing about the original prosecution.

She had been convicted in her absence in August 2009, fined £175 and ordered to pay £180 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

But Grace told Stockport Magistrates' Court the first she'd heard about the whole thing was when she got a letter on 8 December 2019 regarding an "historical debt".

She said she had never received any letters before then, since they had been sent to her mum's house.

"Any mail for me was returned to sender or thrown away," she told the court.

On Tuesday, magistrates accepted her explanation and decided to cancel the original £180 costs order.

Chairman Edward Tasker told her: "You've been very fair and very honest," before also reducing her fine to £40 plus the £15 victim surcharge.

"Thank you for being so honest and for turning up," he added.

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