Burglary victims offer £2,000 reward for return of engagement ring

Paul de Reding and JaniceThomson  Picture: Neil Marshall
Paul de Reding and JaniceThomson Picture: Neil Marshall
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VICTIMS of a notorious burglar known as ‘The Creeper’ are offering £2,000 as a reward for the return of an engagement ring as an insurer has refused to pay out.

Paul de Reding and Janice Thomson suffered at the hands of Stuart Campbell – who was jailed on Friday for eight years after burgling homes wearing a prison-issued GPS tracking tag.

Theirs was one of several homes targeted by Campbell, 42, of Nursling Crescent, Havant, who was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court.

But it has now emerged Legal and General, which covers Mr de Reding’s home in Crystal Way, has refused to pay out.

The firm said it added an extra endorsement to his policy insisting that all windows must be shut.

Campbell got in through a small landing window while the couple were still in and stole a ‘one-off’ engagement ring.

Loss assessor John Elderkin, of Hickson Associates, said: ‘In over 40 years claims handling and negotiation, I have never encountered a security condition which requires the policyholder to keep all doors and windows in the house closed and locked even when they are still in the building. This appears not only an infringement on personal choice and lifestyle but also onerous in the extreme and unfair.

‘I also found it both disappointing and surprising that Legal and General adopted such an inflexible stance and failed to take a more realistic and supportive view in a situation where their own policyholders had already experienced the trauma of the loss itself, knowing an intruder had been creeping around only feet from where they were sleeping,and the theft of items of great sentimental value.’

The ring, 18ct yellow gold with a white gold basket holding the diamond, was taken on June 24.

A spokeswoman for Legal and General Group said it had ‘every sympathy’ and ‘regrets’ being unable to pay the claim.

She added: ‘We confirmed the terms of this endorsement to Mr de Reding and fully explained what this meant in terms of the added security required to his property.

‘The landing window was left open, which led to an individual entering the property and so the endorsement applies’.