Search

Rings ‘stolen’ from dying woman, 94 - widow would have been ‘devastated’ by loss

07:00 06 June 2014

Bertha Guymer

Bertha Guymer

Archant

A 94-year-old woman who died at Queen’s Hospital without the wedding and engagement rings from her RAF sweetheart would have been “devastated” to have been without them, her bereaved daughter said.

Pat NichollsPat Nicholls

Bertha Guymer, of Hornchurch, had never removed the rings on her finger in the 74 years since she married the late Robert while he was on leave during the Second World War.

Her family fear the rings were stolen as she lay dying in Queen’s Hospital while the trust, which runs the Rom Valley Way building, could not account for the “loss” despite an investigation.

Daughter Pat Nicholls, 71, of Hedingham Road, Hornchurch, said: “If she knew she had died without the rings on her fingers, she would be absolutely devastated about it.”

She said, if stolen, the jewellery would have been taken with “a lot of force” from her mother’s fingers, severely swollen with arthritis, sometime between her admission to hospital on May 8 and her death from “old age” two days later.

The stolen ringsThe stolen rings

An “extensive” but failed investigation into the missing rings was carried out by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust.

Sgt Stuart Mitchell, of Havering Police, said an investigation into a “report of theft” had been concluded and anyone with information should contact him on 101.

Mrs Nicholls’ son Robert, 50, of Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, said the rings could not have fallen off as his “wonderful” grandmother’s fingers due to her arthritis.

“Mum held her hand in the ambulance to reassure her so she knew she had the rings on her hand then,” he said. “And grandad passed away 10 years ago, she would never take them off. It was the only thing she had left of him and she doted on him.”

Mrs Nicholls added the theft would have been when she was either dead or dying.”

Judith Douglas, deputy nursing chief for the trust, said: “We’re sorry to hear of Mrs Guymer’s family’s complaint and I fully appreciate just how distressing the loss of this jewellery must be for them.

We have carried out an extensive investigation but to no avail and I can only apologise unreservedly to the family for that.

“I will happily meet with the family to discuss their concerns further.”

Read more:

Queen’s Hospital surgeon who removed ovary instead of appendix ‘can keep job’

A&E like war zone, says Queen’s Hospital doctor

Queen’s Hospital trust put into special measures after damning CQC report

Latest News Stories

11:15
police tape

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

09:18
Kieran, Maliha, Friday and Amy

Four teenagers who have set up their own charity are now further embarrassing their elders by walking from London to 
Paris to raise money for it.

Yesterday, 16:01
We Are FSTVL. Picture: Paul Underhill

Upminster’s We Are Fstvl will return bigger but quieter next year when it opens its gates to an extra 10,000 revellers.

Yesterday, 11:59
Aiden, two, with Matt Partridge (left) and Ian Gayle (right) from Dagenham and Redbridge FC during a visit to the children’s ward at Queen's Hospital, Romford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Christmas kicked off at Romford’s Queen’s Hospital this week with a visit from local football stars.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The online encyclopaedia created a special video showing how the year’s event are linked.

People are divided and it’s definitely following a pattern.

The Interview is about an attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Report found there had been instances of ill-treatment during ‘tactical questioning’, but not deliberate torture or murder.