We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

AP/Press Association Images

A woman fined for stealing a Mars bar has been given nearly €20,000 to pay it

The internet can be nice. Sometimes.

WHEN LOUISA SEWELL pleaded guilty of stealing a 75p four pack of Mars bars from a shop in Kidderminster, she was fined £330 (€468).

Having stolen the bar because she was unable to pay for it after her benefits were sanctioned, she wasn’t in a position to pay for it. She also claimed she stole the bar because she had not eaten in days.

Her story made the local newspaper and was spread around the internet two weeks ago. There, it caught the attention of Stuart Campbell, who decided to do something to help, setting up an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money for the fine.

While the initial goal was £500 (€709), donors have raised over £14,000 (nearly €20,000) to help.

Campbell told The Independent that he set up the campaign on Friday because he felt the story highlighted a flaw in the UK’s benefits-sanctioning system.

“While you read awful benefit-sanctions stories like this every day now, it seemed an especially dreadful example.

“She was failed by society on so many levels and at so many points down the line it’s just horrific. For someone to have decided to go ahead with the prosecution is grotesque.”

The fundraising will also help plug a near £15,000 hole in the funds of a Scottish foodbank, which will receive the excess money, so everyone is a winner.

Read: One of the best-funded Kickstarter projects of all time is… something akin to a Swiss Army Jacket

Read: These guys are crowdfunding the answer to the male contraceptive pill

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.