THE family of an 87-year-old great-grandmother says her life has been made a misery after she was sent letters from bailiffs demanding payment for a fine that is not hers.
Winifred Smith, from Farnworth, has received numerous solicitors’ letters, addressed to a Steven Greenhalgh, saying she owed money from an outstanding parking fine in April 2013.
Her family say they returned all the letters to Bolton Council which issued the fine but they kept coming — and a bailiff even turned up demanding payment of £307.84.
Grand-daughter Kelly Jenkins said fortunately Mrs Smith’s carer was home at the time, but as a consequence of the visit she has been left frightened in her own home.
Ms Jenkins said: “It’s horrendous that they can behave in this manner.
“She’s absolutely distraught, and terrified they’re going to come back.
“She’s lived in that house for 30 years. It’s beyond belief. She uses a stairlift — she can’t even walk, let alone drive a car.
“Nobody seems to be apologetic, there’s no admittance from anybody.” Mrs Smith, from Farnworth, who has lived alone since she lost her husband Norman more than 10 years ago, said she was very upset about the whole incident.
She added: “I don’t even know who this Steven Greenhalgh is.
“I’ve never had any trouble with anybody and to get letters like that, it’s dreadful.”
A council spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of any distress suffered by this lady.
“In April 2013, we issued a parking fine to an individual and sent a number of letters to the address provided by him, which unfortunately does not seem to have been the correct address.
“If we receive a response to our letters, or letters are returned as not known at this address, we will immediately stop pursuing a fine and investigate.
"However, we did not receive a response to any of these letters and none of the letters were returned to us, so in January 2014, we passed the case to our bailiffs.
“As this lady has now advised us that the individual does not live at this address, we have been assured that the bailiffs will make no further contact with her.”