Businessman suing jewellers after girlfriend lost £30,000 ring on train

Phoebe Southworth
·3-min read
Olivia Claffey - Champion News 
Olivia Claffey - Champion News

A businessman is suing a jewellers after his ex-girlfriend lost a £30,000 ring on a train, as a court heard she is "reckless" with expensive items.

Olivia Claffey, 41, sparked a frantic search involving rail staff after the yellow diamond went missing at Victoria Station in London on March 4, 2018.

Mark Hare, 58, who gave Ms Claffey the precious jewel as a Christmas present when they were in a relationship, is now suing Philip Lloyd Jewellers in Reigate, which sold him the ring, at Central London County Court.

Mark Hare - Champion News 
Mark Hare - Champion News

The insurance broker, from Warninglid in West Sussex, claims the diamond was not properly fixed into the ring and the setting holding it in place had snapped off, releasing the jewel, and he is owed the £30,750 he spent on it.

Andrew Spencer, representing Mr Hare, said the ring setting was of unsatisfactory quality to hold the diamond in place, and whoever set it did not employ "reasonable skill and care" as Ms Claffey had only worn it a few times before it went missing.

"The only options are misuse or a defective ring. I submit that on Ms Claffey's evidence misuse is completely ruled out," he told the judge.

However, Philip Lloyd Jewellers is arguing that it was Ms Claffey's "reckless use of jewellery" and "heavy wear and lack of care" which resulted in it going missing.

Watch: Super rare, purple-pink diamond to fetch $38 million

It is claiming that the stone likely came loose when she took a glove off too roughly, and she was terrified of telling Mr Hare she lost it "because she thought he would be very angry that she had damaged another piece".

Ms Claffey said she had been "admiring" the ring on her finger as she travelled to Victoria Station on the way to visit a friend. She realised the diamond inside it had gone when she looked down while getting into a taxi at the station.

After spending four hours looking for it on the train platform, she finally rang Mr Hare to deliver the bad news - in what she described as "the worst phone call she ever had to make".

"I was quite nervous because I had to say 'by the way the £29,000 diamond you gave me for Christmas which at the time was the most beautiful and significant thing I'd ever been given was lost'," she said.

The yellow diamond ring bought for £30,750 - Champion News 
The yellow diamond ring bought for £30,750 - Champion News

Mr Hare said he had been a long-standing client of Philip Lloyd Jewellers and acknowledged he had always received "excellent" service in the past.

He approached the jewellers in December 2017 and asked if they could "source a fancy yellow diamond", which he then gave Ms Claffey for Christmas.

Asked whether his former girlfriend had a habit of neglecting her jewellery, he replied: "She is not hard on her jewellery. I don't consider her any better or worse than any other young lady."

Judge Nicholas Parfitt, who is hearing the case, reserved his ruling and will deliver it at a later date.

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