A single mother who claimed she could not pay a $1,500 fine for littering tried to commit suicide yesterday - by throwing herself off a one-metre drop. Lo Siu-wai, 27, had taken her three-year-old daughter and mother on a one-day $98 tour of Sai Kung organised by the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong. As she was climbing a flight of steps near the entrance to Clearwater Bay country park shortly after 11am, she threw a cigarette butt on to the ground. An Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department officer saw Ms Lo throwing the butt and stopped her. The officer said that before he could issue her a ticket for littering, Ms Lo pleaded with him to forgive her, explaining that she was a single mother living on social security. When she failed to persuade the officer not to issue her a ticket, Ms Lo accused him of forcing her to kill herself as she could not afford to pay the heavy fine of $1,500. Ms Lo then ran about 25 metres towards a slope and jumped over the edge, falling about a metre and injuring herself, the officer said. He said he chased after Ms Lo and called for help. He rescued her with the help of a colleague, he added. The officer said he told Ms Lo that though he sympathised with her, he could not bend the law. Ms Lo eventually - albeit reluctantly - accepted the ticket for littering. Her mother later accompanied Ms Lo to a nearby clinic where a doctor treated her cuts before sending her home. Following the Sars crisis, the government increased fines for spitting and littering from $600 to $1,500 as part of the Team Clean initiatives.