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Have a merry Xmas kids; pounds 11,000 pay-out for Lynn 124 days after thieves steal everything.

Byline: JANE BARRIE Additional Reporting

DECK the halls with boughs of holly! It's Christmas for the Waters family.

No, it hasn't come early - it's precisely 124 days late for Lynn Waters and her children, Jasmine, eight, and Harry, seven.

Their house was broken into on Christmas Day, while Lynn, 33, and the kids were out for lunch.

Heartless thieves took everything, including the kids' new PlayStation 2 from Santa.

They removed Lynn's oven, hob, extractor fan and deep fat fryer for her new fitted kitchen, and took her TVs and videos.

They even helped themselves to the devastated family's Christmas dinner from the fridge.

Distraught Lynn said: "You name it, they took it. The kids were inconsolable and so was I."

Supermarket worker Lynn got in touch with her insurer Norwich Union to claim on her pounds 22-a-month policy.

She said: "I was desperate. The thieves had cleaned me out.

"I was robbed of two televisions, two video recorders, an oven, hob and extractor fan, a deep fat fryer, clothes, CDs, DVDs, and pictures and mirrors from my walls.

"They even had the cheek to help themselves to Christmas dinner from my fridge.

"All my cold meat was gone. I couldn't believe it."

But despite Norwich Union's promise of a speedy resolution to the pounds 11,000 claim, Lynn was still waiting for a pay-out when she called me in.

She said: "I've lost count of the number of times I've phoned them.

"All I have to make meals for the kids is _ a two-ring portable stove lent by a friend, and a wee toaster.

"They kept telling me there were people with higher priorites, people whose properties were damaged in the January storms, for example."

Norwich Union sent a loss adjuster to Lynn's Dumbarton home in January, but he had details of only half of her claim. She said: "I was furious, as I had sent forms, but obviously they had been lost."

She was forced to re-submit her claim to Norwich Union.

Lynn went on: "I was back to square one. I still had no kitchen and the kids had no Christmas presents."

A second loss adjuster arrived at Lynn's home last month, and he told her to expect a pay-out.

She said: "This time, a report was sent to Norwich Union and the loss adjuster said I would hear within a week."

But weeks later, Lynn was still waiting. She said: "I phoned again and couldn't believe it when they told me they hadn't received the loss adjuster's report. I was furious."

That's when Lynn called me in. She said: "I'm at the end of my tether. I feel I'm being fobbed off with excuse after excuse.

"I'm really angry as the quality of life I worked long and hard for has disappeared - and Norwich Union are not even troubled by it."

I got on to the company to find out what they were playing at. They said: "We recognise this matter has taken a considerable period to resolve. The unusual circumstances of the case required extensive inquiries.

"We regret the delay and are pleased to confirm a cheque has now been sent to Ms Waters."

So Christmas is finally going to happen in the Waters household.

A pounds 3350 cheque is winging its way to them to pay for the items that can't be replaced.

Norwich Union have pledged to renew everything else as soon as possible, which means Lynn's pounds 11,000 claim will be met in full.

At last it was the season to be jolly in the Waters household... even though Christmas was four months late in coming.

So I made sure that their celebration went with a bang by sending round Santa's little helpers with a festive feast of turkey and all the trimmings.

A delighted Lynn said: "Thank you for everything. I was getting nowhere until you got involved."

Don't mention it, Lynn. And here's unseasonal greetings from all at the Sunday Mail.
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Title Annotation:The Judge
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 28, 2002
Words:662
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