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Dad hits out after calls in mix-up
An airline pilot mistakenly involved in a row between a traveller and a dress- maker now fears for his family’s safety.
Mark Phillips says his wife is even too scared to take their two-year-old son, Allan, to nursery alone after the “threatening and intimidating” case of mistaken identity.
A woman turned up on Mr Phillips’ doorstep demanding communion gowns and refused to listen when the confused man said he had no idea what she was talking about.
It is thought the woman was looking for a Miranda Phillips, the registered owner of Roseau Bridal, in Kirkgate, Shipley, which town traders say has been closed for several weeks.
An internet search for ‘Miranda Phillips’ brings up the address and phone number of ‘M Phillips’ – which is actually Mark Phillips who has nothing to so with the business. Town centre businesses say they have been dealing with bridal shop customers trying to contact the shop’s owner, including a woman who had handed over communion dresses for alteration.
The family only moved to the UK six weeks ago, having previously lived in Latvia and Nigeria. They hoped for a more stable life.
Mr Phillips, who rents the house in Groveway, Bolton, Bradford, said the woman in a dressing gown knocked on his door at about 8.45pm last Tuesday.
“She immediately just started saying, ‘I’ve come for my dresses.’ I thought she was a neighbour and her dress had maybe blown into garden. I said that and she looked at me strangely and started saying ‘You’ve got my dresses’.”
Mr Phillips said the woman was with a man. After they left the house phone rang. It was a woman demanding to know if the dresses could be returned.
“She started having a go on the phone and saying ‘Have you decided if I can have my dresses?’” said the 29-year-old.
“I find what she’s been saying very threatening and intimidating.”
About 15 minutes later, something was poked through the letter box, Mr Phillips thinks a stick, which knocked his coat from a hook in the hallway.
The following morning Mr Phillips was called again by the woman who said she was a member of the travelling community.
“She said ‘Right, just so you know, you’re dealing with a gypsy and I’m not going to deal with this in the way anybody else is going to,” Mr Phillips said.
The woman told Mr Phillips she was going to hire a private investigator.
Mr Phillips and his wife, Ernestine Mbongo Nkotte, also 29, have been making sure doors and windows are locked.
“You get the feeling she might come back with more people. My wife just moved here and she thought the UK was more stable than where she was living.
“She doesn’t want to take our son to nursery alone.”
Police have advised Mr Phillips to call 999 if he is visited again.
The Telegraph & Argus made several attempts to contact Miranda Phillips.
A Twitter account for the store has asked that people do not post ‘rubbish’ on the company’s Facebook page and asked that people make e-mail contact instead.