1. ITV Report

Campaign raises £13,000 for woman fined £328 over Mars bars theft

A fundraising campaign has been started to help a woman who was fined £328 for stealing a multipack of Mars bars - and has raised over £13,000.

A woman was fined £328 for stealing a multi-pack of Mars bars Credit: PA

Louisa Sewell, 32, stole the pack of chocolates because it was the cheapest thing in the shop and she had not eaten for days, the Daily Mirror reports.

She pleaded guilty to the theft at Kidderminster Magistrates Court and was fined £73 for the theft, 75p in compensation to the store, £150 in court charges, £85 in prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

After reading about the case Reverend Stuart Campbell from Bath, Somerset, decided to raise money to help cover Ms Sewell cover her fine.

His online appeal raised £12,010 in one day and he has said the excess amount will be donated to foodbank and povery charities.

In fines and charges, the woman was penalised £328.75 for stealing food worth 75p - over 438 times the value of the theft.It seems likely that she’ll be unable to pay and may end up in prison.

We can’t fix every injustice in the hideous, heartless society the UK has become...We can do something, even if it's only a gesture.

– Reverend Stuart Campbell

The fines are due to recently introduced rules to make convicted adult offenders pay towards the cost of running the criminal justice.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League, told the Daily Mirror: “There is no leeway. Its a fixed charge and the courts cannot vary it because of circumstance, they have to impose it."