A WIDOWED grandmother has been left "devastated" after heartless thieves stole her late husband's belongings, which had been stored in a caravan after a house fire earlier this year.

Ann Hodgson, 71, of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, said she had lost the only surviving belongings of her late husband Robert William Hodgson, after an electrical fire destroyed his clothes and photographs of the pair.

Ms Hodgson, who is also a full-time carer to her disabled daughter Diane, was forced to leave her home after the first floor was gutted by a blaze.

The grandmother, who had previously lost one of her sons to cancer and another who took his own life, had to stay in a hotel while renovation works were carried out.

She told The Northern Echo: "When we moved out I collected all of my husband's belongings and put it in a Harry Potter bag my other daughter gave me.

"I didn’t want to take it to the hotel in case I lost it so I kept it hidden in the caravan."

Ms Hodgson, who thought her late husband's jewellery and watches were safe in the caravan, said she discovered the theft when she was allowed to return to the home.

She said: "There was a lot of jewellery in that bag.

"There was about £30 worth of 2p that I had been saving for my granddaughters to use at Haven Park and use the 2p slot machines."

The 71-year-old originally from Darlington but lived in the home with Robert for 33 years, moved back in September after remedial work was carried out.

She said: "When I came back in September, I got settled and then went to look in the caravan – it had been broken into, someone used a screwdriver, and everything was gone.

"I'm so devastated and so upset – I thought what can I do."

Desperate to find out what happened to her late husband's belongings, throughout October she visited charity and pawn shops in Darlington, Northallerton and Thirsk.

She said: "It’s not about the money – it’s irreplaceable.

"My husband’s watch which he loved can’t be replaced.

"I didn’t even claim on the insurance because there is no way it can be replaced – somebody out there knows something."

Despite reporting the theft to police, Ms Hodgson said she was no further forward weeks after losing what was left.

She said: "I would just like somebody to bring it back –even if they bring it back to the caravan and leave it there.

"My husband died in 2011, it’s really all I have left of him."

The stolen items include:

  • Engagement ring, with a large sapphire oval and gold band
  • A white gold wedding ring with three white diamonds
  • A Claddagh ring
  • A ruby diamond ring
  • Necklace with the words 'DAD'
  • Watch with a gold face
  • Mercedes watch in black round box with certificate of authenticity
  • Blue cloth bag containing 2p's arranged in £1 money bags
  • Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number 101