Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 17:24 UK

Sunderland grandmother dog poo fine scrapped

Dog mess sign
Pam Robson was told she had cleaned up after the wrong dog

A Wearside great-grandmother has won her fight against a £50 fine for picking up the wrong dog mess.

Pam Robson was accused by Sunderland Council wardens of failing to clean up after Derik, her Labrador, in a field in Houghton-le-Spring in January.

The council said the 60-year-old had picked up mess from a different dog.

When she refused to pay a fixed penalty notice she was threatened with court action, but after speaking to her MP and a solicitor the case was dropped.

Mrs Robson, or Thurlow Way, Houghton-le-Spring, said she had been talking to her daughter on her mobile phone when her dog ran off and relieved itself.

After she cleared up she was approached by two men, one wearing a city council jerkin.

It felt like the worst kind of bullying
Pam Robson

She said: "He said it was the wrong mess and that he was going to issue me with a fine for £50.

"I picked up the other mess too and put it in the bag but he said I'd still be fined."

Later she received a £50 fixed penalty notice threatening court action and a criminal record if she did not pay.

"It felt like the worst kind of bullying," she said.

"I felt as if my integrity was being questioned, so I wrote to my MP, Fraser Kemp, and also went to see a solicitor.

"He told me to let the council take it to court and then we'd show them up for how ridiculous it was."

Sunderland City Council then wrote to Mrs Robson, saying: "Officers at the time were satisfied that an offence had been committed.

"However it appears you may have collected faeces belonging to another dog.

"I have considered your appeal regarding this offence, and can advise that on this occasion the council will not be pursuing the non payment of the fixed penalty notice in the magistrates courts."

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