DISABLED pensioners David and Kathy Bowmar-Scothern were a little put out when they were told there was a letter for them without any postage paid.

Still, the couple, who have mobility issues, thought it must be a letter from one of their three grown-up children so off they drove to the Royal Mail sorting office in Ledgers Close, Littlemore to collect it.

But instead of receiving a happy missive after handing over the £1.50 unpaid postage, the couple discovered they had been sent a message bizarrely taunting them.

Written in the form of a cross, it read: “Post early for Christmas. Ha ha. Hee Hee. From the boys and girls at the Royal Mail sorting office.”

It’s left an angry couple from Headington and Royal Mail scratching its head.

Royal Mail has apologised to the couple but said it did not believe it was responsible for the joke.

Mr Bowmar-Scothern, a 62-year-old former bricklayer and shop-fitter, said: “None of our neighbours, to our knowledge, have had anything like this happen to them.

“It’s baffling.

“I don’t know why anyone else would try to implicate the Post Office in this.

“It just doesn’t make sense.

“We are not rich in our old age so this really did inconvenience us.

“We get on great with our postman and we don’t have any problems with Royal Mail or the Post Office.

“There really needs to be an investigation into this.

“An apology, for all it’s worth, seems a bit hollow. For them to say off the bat it is not one of their staff, how do they know that?

“It could well be a disgruntled member of staff. Who knows what people could get up to if they get laid off?”

Royal Mail spokesman Adrian Booth said the couple would receive a small form of compensation for their trouble.

“It seems like a stupid prank. Whoever did it probably thinks it is a laugh but it is certainly not funny at all.

“We are happy to repay the couple. However, just because it says the sorting office, that doesn’t mean it was from there.

“We’ve never heard of this kind of thing before and do not believe we are responsible. “We can only think it is somebody who is bringing our good name into disrepute, and we are not very happy about it.”