BBC directly apologises to mother of Claudia Lawrence over licence fee letters

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The BBC has apologised directly to the mother of missing university cook Claudia Lawrence over letters about licence fee payments being sent to her daughter’s property.

In an interview published in The Sun on Wednesday, Joan Lawrence said the letters, which she said had threatened up to £1,000 in fines, were causing her “untold heartache”.

The BBC has since apologised to Mrs Lawrence and confirmed to her that no further licence fee letters will be sent to Claudia’s address, the PA news agency understands.

Missing chef
Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance, and a subsequent appeal from her mother, has featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch (North Yorkshire Police/PA)

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

She added: “I desperately want some good to come out of all this, because it’s a nightmare.”

March 18 will mark the 14th anniversary of Claudia’s disappearance on March 18 2009.

Mrs Lawrence told PA she would be travelling to Derbyshire to spend the anniversary with her eldest daughter Ali.

Earlier on Wednesday, a BBC spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry for the distress caused to Mrs Lawrence and we will be apologising to her directly.

“We have taken steps to ensure no further letters are sent to the address.”

Peter Lawrence death
Claudia Lawrence with her father Peter (North Yorkshire Police/PA)

They were not addressed directly to Claudia but were standard letters relating to an unlicensed property, PA understands.

Claudia’s mother contacted the BBC in September 2022 but only a temporary pause was put in place and automated letters restarted in February this year.

Claudia’s disappearance, and a subsequent appeal from her mother, has previously featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch.

Last year, on the 13th anniversary of the disappearance, Mrs Lawrence told BBC Radio York that she would never give up hope of finding her daughter.

North Yorkshire Police have conducted two investigations in relation to Claudia’s disappearance and suspected murder but no charges have been brought.

Claudia’s father Peter died in 2021 without knowing what happened to his daughter.

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