'We're never going to get his memories back': Daughter heartbroken after £3,000 of dad's possessions sold in error from Northampton flat

Tessa Toolaram went to the warden-controlled flat where her dad Stephen lived only to find his belongings had been cleared in error. Many have still not been found, several weeks later.
Tessa Toolaram went to the warden-controlled flat where her dad Stephen lived only to find his belongings had been cleared in error. Many have still not been found, several weeks later.

A man with dementia has had £3,000 worth of belongings accidentally sold or given away from his Northampton warden-controlled home.

Tessa Toolaram, 42, of Little Billing went to collect some of her dad’s belongings from his flat at Simon de Senlis Court in Robert Street, The Mounts, in order to transfer them to a care home where he was staying for a trial period.

But upon arrival, she discovered all of his possessions - apart from his electric-powered chair and double bed - had vanished.

She said: “It was horrible. My dad’s not dead, I walked into that place and all his stuff was missing.

“My father’s entire life history was taken from the flat, items that can never be replaced, which are priceless, including photos, medals, family heirlooms, death certificates, driving licences and much more.

“We are never going to get the memories back.”

Her dad, Stephen Fowler, 71, suffers from vascular dementia, osteoporosis as well as arthritis and moved into Templemore Care Home in Harlestone Road to see if he liked it. He is currently on a four-week trial basis where he can be monitored more closely by medical professionals.

In the meantime, Tessa was left with the keys to the property in case he wasn’t comfortable and needed to move back.

She claims that there was a misunderstanding between a neighbour and a member of Simon de Senlis Court staff who helped to shift some of his belongings, an action which was not authorised by the family.

She added: “I’d not given anybody permission to enter the premises and take any of my dad’s belongings so how did anybody gain access?

“Under no circumstances had we given permission.”

Tessa has managed to retrieve some of the items that were taken away by various charities but other possessions such as Stephen’s watch and iPad have not been traced.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said they have received a report of a burglary at Simon De Senlis Court between September 19 and 21 and inquiries are taking place.

Tessa's dad, Stephen.

Tessa's dad, Stephen.

Simon de Senlis says they have retrieved some of the lost items.

Ben Bello, head of housing for The Hyde Group, which manages Simon de Senlis Court said: “We’re sorry to hear of this matter and the distress caused to Mr Fowler and his family.

“Disposing of personal belongings at the end of a tenancy is always the responsibility of the resident or family members.

“We understand an arrangement was made between family members and a neighbour, to collect items from the flat to donate to charity.

“This remains an unfortunate disagreement between the two parties involved.

“We have subsequently managed to retrieve some of the personal items from the charity and arrange for them to be returned to the family.”