Remember that time when you got a fine, contested it, and never heard anything back from it? Well, maybe that demon you thought had been pushed back in the closet is coming back to haunt you.

Thousands of people are expected to be hit with fines from parking offences, some up to a decade old.

It all comes after ministers launched a hunt to track down the lost fines thanks to new technology.

The Ministry of Justice has been trawling databases held by other government departments and using online tracing tools, even finding those who had moved home.

Around £9m has already been clawed back from the taxpayer.

Credit: PA

However, the campaign has left many troubled who believe they are innocent of the offence but are unable to prove it due to the long time that has since passed.

Those who thought they were part of a scam, similar to that of Royal Mail a few weeks back, have been it with further notices with the threat of bailiffs or court action.

The letters do not state what the original offence was - that's something that can only be requested by contacting a magistrate's court.

The Daily Mail revealed that the Historic Debt project was set up in September last year with a budget of £3m and recruiting 153 full-time staff.

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Forty-six-year-old Mark Thornton, from North London, received a letter demanding £183, and told the paper: "It didn't actually say what the fine was for but eventually we were told it was for an untaxed vehicle.

"My wife and I were living in Switzerland in 2010, when it was supposed to have happened.

"We didn't have the paperwork anymore and we didn't want to rack up more fees so we just paid it."

Another person, Sandra Straupmanis, of East London, was ordered to pay £205 over an unpaid TV license bill. Her son, Dagnis, added: "My mother was very distressed. She rang the number on the letter and discovered it was a property she had long moved out of."

Credit: PA

An HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesman said: "The Historic Debt project was set up to tackle outstanding debt.

"It has collected £9 million, including compensation owed to victims of crime. Anyone who believes they have been wrongly contacted can appeal through their local magistrates' court."

Although our days of contesting government or local council fines may be over. The Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, has useful tips on how to avoid paying unfair private parking fines.

He firstly says understand the difference between private and public parking charges. Councils will impose a 'penalty charge notice' whereas private landlords will order a 'parking charge notice'.

His next steps include: don't just pay the fine - it's easier to dispute before paying a fine; don't ever think of it as a fine - 'private parking companies have no official right to fine you'; and gathering evidence before writing your letters of complaint.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.

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