BBC sent TV licence fee demands to Claudia Lawrence 14 years after chef went missing

Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009. Credit: PA

The mother of a missing chef says she has still not had an apology from the BBC after letters were sent demanding TV licence payments from her daughter - 14 years after she mysteriously disappeared.

Claudia Lawrence disappeared from York on 18 March, 2009, prompting the biggest and most complex missing person inquiry in the history of North Yorkshire Police.

Her mother, Joan Lawrence, has said letters were being sent to her daughter's cottage for her TV licence fee, with one recently even threatening court action and a £1,000 fine.

Joan said: "I tried and tried to get them to stop it.

"I'm not damning people, I just wish they'd think before they d these things because it can be hurtful and I'm sure I'm not the only one it's happened to."

She added that one of the letters was especially "awful", threatening that not paying up could affect her credit score.

Claudia was 35 when she vanished on her way to work at York University. North Yorkshire Police believe she was murdered, but her body has never been found.

In the years since Claudia's disappearance, 12 people have been arrested but no-one has ever been charged.

Joan Lawrence contacted the BBC in September 2022, but only a temporary pause was put in place and automated letters restarted in February this year. They have now stopped after attention from the media, according to Joan.

She said: "I desperately want some good to come out of all this, because it's a nightmare.

"There's so much red tape about everything as well, that's so difficult to get through."

A BBC spokesperson said they are "very sorry" for the distress caused to Claudia's family and that the BBC would be apologising to Joan directly.

They added: "We have taken steps to ensure no further letters are sent to the address."

It comes ahead of the 14th anniversary of Ms Lawrence's disappearance on Saturday.

Claudia's father, Peter, died in 2021 without ever knowing what happened to his daughter.

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