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Family 'disgusted' as landslip victim's property left on show to public

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 11, 2013

Comments (6)

THE FAMILY of Looe grandmother Susan Norman say they are disgusted that her belongings have been left on show among the ruins of her home in Sandplace Road.

The 68-year-old was killed as she slept after a landslide caused her home to collapse on March 22.

Nearly six months after the tragedy, her son Matthew Boden says the family cannot move on until the site has been cleared.

"We have to drive past the house every single day," he said.

"All the tourists stop outside to have a good look. We just want it to be cleared so we can begin to move on."

"My mum would be absolutely horrified if she knew her belongings were on display for everyone to see."

Due to the investigation by the police and Health and Safety Executive the family have been unable to go onto the site to recover any of Mrs Norman's possessions.

"On the very first week the builders managed to get us some photo albums," Mr Boden said.

"Everything else is completely buried. We can't move on until the house is cleared.

"I told the police that if they don't get in there and clear the site I would get a group of friends together and we would do it ourselves. He advised me against it because it could ruin the evidence."

The site is surrounded by metal barriers but Mr Boden fears thieves may have broken in and taken some of his mother's belongings.

"There is an area that has been cleared but the police said they haven't been in there," he said.

"We think people may have been in and taken things. We didn't expect that to happen in Looe."

The 44-year-old said the whole family has been devastated by his mother's death.

"I haven't been able to sleep in my bed since it happened because I just think about the walls coming in.

"My younger sister has been affected the most. She was very dependent on my mum and she's struggling to hold it together.

"She keeps going down to the house to look at all of her things.

"She can see the urn which has the ashes of my mum's cat inside. She wants to go in to get it but I tell her she can't because it's not safe.

Mr Boden said he feels let down by the authorities.

"We have not been told anything about what is happening," he said.

"We are disgusted at how the whole thing has been handled.

"It just doesn't seem that anyone has any sense of urgency at all."

A joint investigation by the Police and the Health and Safety Executive is continuing.

A police spokesman said the site should be cleared next month.

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  • kiwoo  |  September 11 2013, 11:18PM

    This is an outrage!!!! Come on powers that be!!! Have some common decency and show some respect - for the deceased lady and her poor family!!! This place should have been sealed and secured to prevent damage and possible looting. If they can do it for a crime scene they could do the same in this type of tragedy! Truly shocking!!!

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  • Nikgee  |  September 11 2013, 6:11PM

    Seems H&S has domination over respect for the deceased and their family. Time common sense was brought back again. Do the decent thing!

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  • CawsandRoger  |  September 11 2013, 4:23PM

    It's not really good enough.

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  • jennyplym  |  September 11 2013, 1:05PM

    This is outragious why cant this be done now this month, why has it got to be next month, what re the Police going to do about the alledged theft of their Mother's belongings why was the site not secured if its part of a joint H&E Police Investigation, talk about LAX I agree the Police Crime Commissioner needs to go pronto to see this Family and afford answers to them preferably today, there should have been a Police Liason Officer assigned to the Family, seems to me the Police have a lot of questions to answer time the Herald started asking them, do a bit of Journalism, contack the Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable on behalf of this Family, get the answers they seem unable to get from the Authorities, who will be held accountable for the site not being secured? will the Police now investigate the theft of their Mothers belongings? Come on Herald do your Job properly, I would suggest this Family also contact Spotlight at the BBC and Westcountry News too, seem the Authorities only get their finger out when the Media are involved its a disgrace, I sometimes wonder why the hell I pay my Taxes.

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  • twofeetofsnow  |  September 11 2013, 12:00PM

    I thought we had a police and crime commissioner landed on us to be a connection between the police and the public, why isn't Boss Hogg doing something to help this family? Surely any evidence necessary has been damaged or washed away since the landslip, it is about time this whole matter was settled.

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  • Sharon40  |  September 11 2013, 8:36AM

    it is absolutely disgusting for the family that the possessions are on show, everytime i drive past i feel for the family having to see that , how on earth can they even try to move on from this ? and also if there were any possessions that survived they will be utterly ruined due to weather and such , it's terrible , my heart goes out to the family and i hope they are able to move on and get the site cleared as soon as possible, and if like they say anything has been stolen how will they be able to prove that , dear me poor poor family , thinking of you all x

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