Mr Benvenuti with the bailiff's notice
A pensioner says he's been forced to leave his Deal home because of threats from bailiffs after a £65 parking fine.
Orazio Benvenuti, 70, is scared to stay in his Milldale Close home and has moved in with his daughter in Canterbury.
Mr Benvenuti was given a parking fine for £65 from Lewisham Borough Council, in south London, last month. He has appealed against it.
Bailiffs want to impound Mr Benvenuti's car
Following a stay in hospital after an operation to remove a blood clot from behind his eye, Mr Benvenuti returned home to find that a bailiff company had been assigned to his case and the charges for the debt collector increased the fine to £523.84.
He was ordered to pay immediately or his car would be impounded.
On contacting the company Mr Benvenuti and his daughter Paula Picarelli, 40, was met with an “aggressive and rude” response.
Mr Benvenuti said: “He was very aggressive when I said I didn’t have the money. I’m too scared to go to the flat in case they take my car. I asked him if we could come to some agreement and he said if I didn’t give him the money he would take my car.
“I’ve been very depressed all week. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. It just seems so unfair. I never refused to pay anything but they haven’t given me a chance. He even slammed the phone down on me.”
His daughter, who lives in Island Road, Canterbury, said: “My dad is sleeping on my settee. He keeps asking me whether they can enter his home and what will happen if he parks outside the house.
“I’ve been very depressed all week. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. It just seems so unfair" - Orazio Benvenuti
“It’s absolutely disgraceful. We haven’t got that money. He’s a pensioner and he struggles simply to survive and afford his basic living.
“They use bully boy tactics. The bailiff did not want to help in any way whatsoever, he was rude and aggressive.”
Mr Benvenuti is originally from Italy but has lived in England for 50 years and lived in Deal for nine years.
Before his retirement he lived in Lewisham and was a porter at The Savoy Hotel in London.
A spokeswoman for Lewisham Borough Council said charges from bailiff companies cannot be controlled by the authority once the case has been passed on to them. But she said a reply will be issued to Mr Benvenuti regarding his appeal.