Henfield mum’s anguish after daughters’ precious toys thrown away ‘by mistake’

A mum says she is upset and angry after all her daughters’ toys and other precious belongings were thrown away by mistake.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 4:10 pm

Juliette Prodger says she stored the items in their garden shed while the family redecorated the girls’ bedroom in their Henfield flat.

But housing association Saxon Weald emptied the shed and took all their belongings away to the tip.

Months later, Juliette says she is still battling to get replacement items or compensation for her daughters Ocean, 12, and Summer, 13.

Juliette Prodger and her daughters Ocean and Summer in the empty shed where their precious belongings were stored. Photo: Steve Robards SR20010301 SUS-200301-131713001

A spokesman for Saxon Weald said: “This was an unfortunate mistake on our behalf for which we apologise.

“Our team were supposed to be clearing a neighbouring shed, but the numbering was incorrect and they ended up clearing the wrong one.

“The matter is now with our insurance company who are liaising with family concerned.”

But Juliette said: “It’s everything the girls have had since they were little. They’ve collected Sylvanian Families sets, they had the houses, and there was Pokemon stuff in there. As well as all the older stuff that’s irreplaceable, they also had brand new things in there from their birthdays, that they hadn’t even opened or used yet. There was a set of Warhammer figures that cost £110, still in the box untouched.

“Saxon Weald admitted liabiltiy and passed us over to a broker, but they want receipts for everything or there’s nothing they can do. The older things don’t have receipts, and the new stuff had receipts with them in the bags - but they’ve all gone too.”

She said her daughter Summer has hypermobility and has had a number of operations. Among the items to be lot was an exercise bike which she needs to help her recovery.

Juliette says the error happened when Saxon Weald came to empty the shed used by another tenant in the block, who had just moved out of the ground floor flat.

“We didn’t know, but they said the same key opened all the sheds,” she said. “They got the wrong one. We asked them for all the stuff back, but they said it had been taken to the tip. That really upset the girls the most, that all their toys and things had just been thrown away.

“It was all just in the shed temporarily while we sorted out the wallpaper and the decorating, it was all going to go back into the bedroom when it was finished.”

Juliette says the incident happened at the end of October, and she’s still battling to get things resolved.

“We’re on benefits and we’ve been told to go to the small claims court will cost money which we don’t have,” she said.

“I’m not in this for the money, I just want the girls’ things replaced as far as possible, so they can be happy again.”