Single mum on Universal Credit ‘threatened by bailiffs’ in £400 park row

Jemma Martin, 31, from Beechdale in Nottingham, received a park notice during a bank holiday trip to Skegness with her then-partner and young children in August last year

Jemma Martin has been visited by bailiffs who she claims demanded £400 without notice
Jemma Martin has been visited by bailiffs who she claims demanded £400 without notice

A single mum on Universal Credit claims she was “threatened” by a bailiff who demanded £400 on her doorstep without notice.

Jemma Martin, 31, from Beechdale in Nottingham, was in Skegness with her then partner and their young children – who were then four years and 18 months old.

Upon arriving at a car park, Ms. Martin says she was unable to open the car doors properly to get her children and stroller out of the car. LincolnshireLive reports.

To solve this problem, since there was no parking for parents and children, Ms. Martin parked slightly above the white line to make room.

She was subsequently given a parking ticket, which she has since appealed to East Lindsey Borough Council.

However, on the morning of April 4, 2022, Ms. Martin was faced with a visit from the bailiffs.

Ms Martin was on holiday in Skegness with her young children and her former partner when she was fined for an allegedly minor parking offence


(Getty Images)

“I had the bailiff at my door asking for £394,” she said. “But I wasn’t financially able to pay for it.”

When Miss Martin told the debt collector she couldn’t pay, he allegedly threatened to take her car but couldn’t because it was financed. According to Miss Martin, he then made another threat.

“He threatened that he could come into my house and take my things,” she said, adding that when she said she wouldn’t let him in, he told her he was going to force his way into the house.

“I had a guy in front of me who said he could break into my house and take my stuff.

“I was very intimidated, he was quite a big guy,” she said.

A form left by the debt collector said Miss Martin paid voluntarily, but she said she paid because she felt “threatened”.

She said, “I’m five feet two inches tall, what could I do?” She described what happened as “disgraceful”.

Miss Martin works two hours a day as a lunchtime supervisor at a local school, and the rest of her salary is supplemented by Universal Credit payments.

Her ex-partner, who was with her at the time of the fine, is no longer with her, so she worries about how to pay the fine.

“£400 is a huge chunk of my monthly pocket money, it’s about half,” she said. “I have my mother to rely on, but that’s to borrow, not to have.

“I’ve got to pay it back, so it’ll be a while before I get the hang of it.” Miss Martin says she was advised by East Lindsey Borough Council that the bailiff may not have acted appropriately.

A spokesman for East Lindsey District Council said: “Following due process, the lady in question has been written to four times and no replies to these communications have been received.

“Following this lack of reply, the matter was referred to the bailiffs who again wrote to the lady twice and received no reply to these letters.

“As is usual in these cases, the lady was visited by bailiffs, which has resulted in a complaint to the bailiff company, which they are investigating through their internal procedures.”

We reached out to Bristow and Sutor for comment.

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