A grandfather was threatened with a visit from bailiffs after a shoplifter claimed his address as their own.

Peter Lawson, 80, received a letter from Retail Loss Prevention (RLP) demanding payment worth £137 after goods worth £25 had been stolen from Boots, in The Harlequin shopping centre, Watford.

The thief had given Boots a false address, which was then handed to RLP who claim back money on behalf of the chemist.

Two days after the incident, in July, Mr Lawson opened a letter demanding repayment that was delivered to his home in Princes Avenue, Watford.

A fortnight later, he received a second letter threatening to send bailiffs to his home to recover payment.

Following a phone call to RPL from his daughter Kim Rusher, Mr Lawson's other daughter, Amanda Grimston, a Watford councillor, and Kim's husband Ian took a morning off work to visit Watford police station and also the manager of Boots, who reassured them the misunderstanding would be resolved.

Mr Lawson said: “When I got this letter from the bailiffs, it frightened the life out of me. I didn't sleep for a couple of nights. I thought all I need is bailiffs knocking on the door.

“For an 80-year-old man to get that letter, it's frightening. I have never owed a ha'penny to anyone or borrowed from any shops.”

Mr Lawson has now been offered £125 compensation from Boots.

However, Amanda said money is “not the issue”.

“They need to change their policy,” she said. “If they can frighten one old man, who else can they frighten into paying?”

Boots representative Aviva Fernandes said: "We apologise for any distress caused to Mr Lawson. We are currently liaising directly with the Lawson family to resolve this issue."