Workers at B&M in Ipswich left stunned after parking fine error in 2013 leaves them facing court appearance

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was iss

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A group of former employees at a store in Ipswich have been left distraught after car park fines mistakenly issued more than two years ago has left them facing a court appearance.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was iss

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking. - Credit: Gregg Brown

In May 2013, at least 10 workers at the B&M store in Copdock, Ipswich, were surprised to have been issued a £70 fine each by the new car park owners, which had mistakenly issued the tickets not realising their cars were those of employees – despite registration numbers having been given.

But after being told by the store that they were not required to pay them, the group were left stunned when court summons arrived in December, stating they had unpaid fines of £250 each.

Single-mum Jo Harris, 35, of Fitzgerald Road in Bramford, who was issued two fines in May 2013, said: “I stopped working there about a year and a half ago and went self-employed.

“I am absolutely worried sick and I have got all the paperwork from my boss at the time. It’s such a shock and I am worried about the bailiffs.”

Civil Enforcement Ltd, which ran the car park, has continued to proceed with legal action despite some employees having left since then, and the group have been left unable to contact the firm to clarify their position.

Mrs Harris added: “It’s disgusting – they were aware of these fines. B&M could have just paid it off but now we have the stress and costs of the court summons.”

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Despite the error, the store has so far failed to back the group, stating in a letter that because Civil Enforcements had issued county court summons to individuals, the store would not be dealing with any of the cases.

A B&M spokesman last night said the Civil Enforcements no longer operated the car park.

“We’ve contacted the relevant car park company involved, they no longer operate the site. Following representations by B&M as the store leaseholder, we understand that they are taking legal advice and therefore cannot comment further at this time,” the spokesman added.

Civil Enforcement Ltd did not respond to requests by the Ipswich Star to comment on the matter.

The situation has now left the employees set to face a date at county court in London in May.