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SHOCK IN THE POST

PUBLISHED: 12:11 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 21 July 2010

Laura Gayle, resident at 40 Laxfield Court, Pownall Road, Hackney, London, UK. Laura got by mistake trough her letter box, an envelope containig checks not signed by Hackney Council. Tuesday 1th April 2008

Laura Gayle, resident at 40 Laxfield Court, Pownall Road, Hackney, London, UK. Laura got by mistake trough her letter box, an envelope containig checks not signed by Hackney Council. Tuesday 1th April 2008

Carmen Valino

A HACKNEY resident was shocked last week to open an envelope posted in error containing cheques worth more than £100,000 – along with a referral letter for court possession proceedings against her...

A HACKNEY resident was shocked last week to open an envelope posted in error containing cheques worth more than £100,000 - along with a referral letter for court possession proceedings against her.

Laura Gayle, who lives in Laxfield Court on the Suffolk estate, was amazed to find 12 unsigned cheques belonging to Suffolk Estate Co-operative Ltd, her housing association, including one for £114,797.82 payable to Hackney Council for rents the co-operative had collected on its behalf.

"I haven't even seen figures like this before on a cheque," she said. "It's ridiculous."

The 34-year-old receptionist became incensed when she realised four of the cheques were for starting court possession proceedings against herself and three other named tenants and is angry that the strictly confidential information could go astray.

She said: "It's the principle that information about me and other people on the estate could have got into someone else's hands. It's a big blunder.

"I hadn't been told I was going to court. It was a shock."

A tenant in Debenham Court, whose referral for court possession proceedings was also in the bundle, said: "I think it's absolutely appalling. This is so unprofessional. The fact that my sensitive information is in that file makes me feel ill."

The envelope should really have gone to the co-operative's treasurer, Mary Telfer, who lives in adjacent Orwell Court, but a caretaker who delivers post for the estate, which is run by its residents, put it through the wrong door.

Griffith Quartey, tenant ,anagement organiser for Suffolk Estate Co-operative Ltd, based at The Broadway Base in Welshpool Street, admitted that an error had been made.

He said: "In hindsight, one could say that it would be better for the treasurer to come to the office to sign the cheques, but these people are volunteers and they use their time for the benefit of the community.


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