Isle of Wight grandmother's 'treasured items' binned by contractors who 'thought she was dead'

Mabel is now back home and is living in her sitting room. Credit: Karen Henshaw

An elderly widow from the Isle of Wight has lost her treasured possessions after they were thrown away by contractors who wrongly believed she was dead.

Mabel Ogle fell at her home in October last year, and was moved to a respite care centre whilst she recovered.

During her time at the site, her house flooded, and contractors were given permission to enter the property to assess the damage.

They were told to remove damaged furniture, but instead removed almost everything from the property and binned it.

Mabel's family say they haven't been able to break the news to her that some of her most prized possessions, including her wedding photos and war medials, have been lost forever.

One of the photos of Mabel and her late husband that have been lost. Credit: Karen Henshaw

Karen Henshaw, Mabel's granddaughter, told ITV Meridian they can never tell her what has happened as it will break her heart.

"She's lost all of life's possessions," she said.

"My poor nan is totally unaware. The carers are still going in six times a day. And she's got nothing but the bed and a few clothes that she's wearing.

"Everything's gone.

"It's like... all the things that I want to pass down to my grandchildren. I've got nothing now.

"I know it's not about the value of how much it was. It's just what's happened and that's been taken away from us.“

Despite efforts from the family and the insurer to track down the items, it's thought they have been lost forever.

Mabel's family say they can never tell her what has happened. Credit: Karen Henshaw

Among the items lost are Mabel's photo albums and love letters between her and her late husband, all irreplaceable.

"I don't know how I could tell her", Karen added. "How could you tell a 97 year old that all her husband's possessions have gone? The love letters that she used to talk about, her jewellery, everything."

A spokesperson for RSA Insurance told ITV Meridian: “We are sincerely sorry for the upset caused to Mrs Ogle and her granddaughter Mrs Henshaw when some of Mrs Ogle's belongings were incorrectly disposed of during the handling of the water damage to her home.

"Following a thorough review of this incident we previously offered our apologies for the mistakes that were made and while it is impossible place a value on some of the more sentimental items that were lost we have paid compensation to reflect the undoubted distress that these mistakes caused.

"Mrs Henshaw subsequently referred the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service as she was unhappy with the level of compensation and it has concluded that our handling of the complaint and compensation payment was reasonable.”


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