Monday, August 8, 2022

NOT FINE We ​​were fined £180 for visiting a town 160 miles away – we’ve never been there, now we face a £1,000 bill

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A COUPLE have been slapped with £180 fines for visiting Birmingham and now face a £1,000 bill – but they’ve never been there.

Sue Murphy thought her husband Paul had cheated on her after receiving the letter from the council saying his car had been stolen in Birmingham when he was supposed to be working in Eastbourne.

The Murphys live in Kent, 160 miles from Birmingham, and Paul insists he’s never been “north of the Dartford Tunnel”.

The couple are now over £1,000 in debt and say they are unable to sleep amid fears of a visit from the bailiff.

Paul insists Birmingham City Council had reassured him it was a mistake when the first £180 fine was imposed in December and he has a letter to prove it.

He says the council told him their number plate recognition cameras can sometimes misread similar license plates.

Mr Murphy claims the real culprit is the owner of a blue Vauxhall with a similar registration to his white Jaguar.

“When I put the license plate on the DVLA website, the difference between the cars is clear as daylight.

He says the council told him they were adding the two numbers to a list asking their staff to double-check them.

But despite three assurances, the couple says they still receive monthly letters asking them to pay and threatening to call in a debt collection agency.

“We’ve seen shows like ‘Can’t Pay, We’ll Take It Away,’ and we’re scared that’s how we’re going to end up,” Paul said.

“Waking up one day to bailiffs taking your belongings because something is out of your control – it was a traumatizing experience.”

In a statement, the council said: “The other two penalty notices (PCNs) that have been issued have been annulled and we of course apologize to Mr Murphy.”

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