A FORMER soldier senior citizen from Greenock says he is being hounded by 'threatening' letters from TV licensing bosses - despite getting rid of his television.

Dan McConnell, 82, refused to pay £157.50 for a licence on a point of principle after exemptions were axed.

He packed his TV away in protest, but continued to receive correspondence from the licensing authority, who warned that they were planning to pay him a visit.

Mr McConnell, of Bearhope Street, is one of many local senior citizens who feel that it is unfair that the free licence for over-75s has been scrapped and says the treatment he has received is out of order.

He said: "I'm not paying it and I've put my television away.

"They've been pursuing me since April.

"I recently received a letter asking if I'd be at home on the 26th of November as I 'may get a visit'.

"The letter came from Kilmarnock.

"I feel it's a bit threatening - and as well as that, they shouldn't be visiting anyone especially because of the virus.

"Kilmarnock is in Tier 4 and no-one from Tier 4 should be coming into Tier 3."

The pensioner, who completed his national service in Cyprus in 1958 with the Black Watch, is a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' Association.

He said: "It's bad enough pensioners having to cope with this virus without getting letters like this.

"There is definitely an air of force to the letter, saying 'you will get a £1,000 fine'.

"It's very upsetting.

"I am sure it will frighten some older people.

"It's quite threatening."

Greenock campaigner Ivy Siegfried has become a figurehead in the fight against the fee and has urged other pensioners not to stump up.

She said she'd be willing to go to prison, leading to her being interviewed as a guest on ITV's This Morning show.

Ivy says scrapping the free licence unfairly targets older people.

Mr McConnell said: "Ivy is so right about it and I would very much like to meet her."

TV Licensing have now apologised to Mr McConnell for their handling of his case.

A spokesperson told the Telegraph: “We are sorry for any concern caused by our letters to Mr McConnell.

"He received correspondence from us, including a letter sent in February inviting him to apply for a free licence if he was eligible, and automated letters trying to ascertain who was living at the address after his licence was incorrectly cancelled in June.

"The issues have been put right and his address has been registered as no licence needed.”

They added: “The signatory locations on our letters do not reflect the location where our visiting officers are based and we are following strict protocols to ensure safe visiting.

"In line with the latest guidance from the Scottish Government we have temporarily suspended visits in areas that are now under level 4 restrictions.

“In all other areas staff are following a number of safety measures including the mandatory use of face coverings, maintaining a two-metre distance at all times and not entering people’s homes during visits.”