Mum’s anger after delayed letter ends with visit by bailiff

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A Sheffield mum shelled out £400 for a minor motoring offence – because a letter about the original fine was one of thousands withheld by a postman.

The 34-year-old mum was even visited by bailiffs demanding the cash after she mistakenly went through a bus gate in Sheffield city centre.

Postman Spencer Ballinger admitted intentionally delaying over 42,000 letters from residents. The Wincobank mum, who did not want to be named, only received the original letter about the fine this week and said she missed a reminder because of a family bereavement.

She said: “The letter that was withheld was saying I had to pay the fine or go to court.

“The next month we had a bailiff knocking on the door.

“He insisted I should have had these letters, but when I said we hadn’t he thought I was lying.

“The children were very upset about it and so was I.

“I ended up paying £400, instead of the £120 it would have cost me originally.”

Ballinger stashed 42,936 items of mail, opened 103 items and destroyed or damaged another 295 over a period of more than two years,

Floods of letters and gifts dating back to 2011 have started to arrive at homes and businesses in Burncross, Grenoside and Chapeltown after Royal Mail recovered the haul.

Ballinger, aged 43, of Thorpe Hesley – who no longer works for Royal Mail – admitted intentionally delaying the mail when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

Sentencing was adjourned.