Couple lose battle against insurer after being hit by '˜The Creeper' burglar

AN INSURANCE watchdog has ruled against a couple who fell victim to a burglary.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 10:47 am
Janice Thomson and Paul de Reding. Picture: Neil Marshall
Janice Thomson and Paul de Reding. Picture: Neil Marshall

Paul de Reding and his fiance were targeted by ‘The Creeper’ Stuart Campbell, who was jailed last year for eight years.

Campbell had targeted several homes while wearing a prison-fitted GPS tag.

But the couple, of Crystal Way, Waterlooville, were in a battle with Legal and General, who had refused to pay out over the burglary as a window was left open.

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John Elderkin, from Hickson Associates, had taken on the case for the couple and took it to the Financial Ombudsman.

Campbell, 42, had got in through a small open upstairs window. The couple’s policy said all windows must be shut.

Mr Elderkin said this was tucked away in ‘small print’.

He said: ‘In this genuine incident of loss where the culprit had gone to quite extraordinary lengths to gain access to the property, scaling a high wooden fence, climbing up a pitched roof and squeezing through a high narrow fanlight, partially ajar, I had rather hoped that Legal and General might have been rather more sympathetic and supportive towards their own policyholder.’

He added: ‘I suppose the lesson to be learned is that any of your readers with policies with this particular insurer need to check all paperwork and wordings very carefully so as not to be similarly caught out – or seek cover with other companies.’

Legal and General previously said it has ‘every sympathy’ and ‘regrets’ being unable to pay out.