A woman has reportedly been forced to give up a rare $106,370 ring she bought from Cash Converters for just $24,000, after its previous owner claimed it was stolen from his terminally ill wife’s bedside before she died.
According to the Courier Mail, Veronica Melrose, 62, a Woolworths store manager from Carina, innocently bought the pink Argyle diamond ring in February 2014 from a Cash Converters store in Queensland.
However, rightful owner Norman Paton Campbell, 68, later claimed it actually belonged to his late wife Gillian, before it was callously stolen from her bedside as she lay dying – along with 104 items of her treasured jewellery.
Details of the jewellery thefts were revealed in the District Court in Brisbane, where it was revealed Joshua Patrick Backshall had stolen the jewels, before pawning them at different stores.
According to the publication, it was claimed in court he needed the money to pay off debts. There is no connection between Backshall and Melrose, and no criminal allegations against Melrose have been made.
The fraud trial reportedly heard that Mrs Campbell told her husband that “jewellery had been disappearing from her dressing and bedside table” before she died on November 18, 2012. However, her husband only discovered it was all gone once she had passed away.
In a civil proceeding unrelated to Backshall’s criminal case, Melrose pleaded to keep the ring she bought “in good faith”, but Judge Michael Williamson ruled against her – ordering her to hand it back.
The news outlet reports Backshall was convicted of stealing and fraud in March 2016 and was eligible for parole in December last year.