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Sturry mum Hayley Richards in row with Curry's over faulty freezer

By Matt Jackson

A new mum who lost three months worth of breast milk because of a faulty freezer from Curry’s has branded the firm’s £30 compensation offer an “insult”.

Hayley Richards had stockpiled the food to give to four-month-old daughter Darcy, who had struggled to feed from the breast when she was born because she was tongue-tied.

But the 35-year-old, of Meadow Lane, Sturry, has now been forced to top up her baby’s diet with formula food after the stored milk went off because of a manufacturing fault on her new Daewoo freezer.

Hayley and Andy Richards with baby Darcy

Hayley and Andy Richards with baby Darcy

The milk had been kept in Miss Richards’s old freezer, which was too small for the mum-of-three’s growing family so she upgraded to a £300 model.

She asked deliverymen to give her 30 minutes’ notice so she could transfer the milk to cooling bags while the new freezer was installed.

But she says they turned up without warning, blaming a broken down van and being behind schedule.

“I explained that I had needed a specific delivery time so the frozen items could be taken out at the last possible minute,” said Miss Richards.

“They just seemed really annoyed, even though I had done nothing wrong.”

"They say breast is best, and I wanted to do all I could to keep her on breast milk, but now I haven’t got a choice" - Hayley Richards

Worse was to come, though, as Miss Richards says the delivery team left the new freezer in the dining room and her fiancé Andy was forced to install it himself – despite the couple paying extra to have it set-up by Curry’s.

“After struggling to get it installed and waiting the advised time, I turned it on and put the food and milk in,” she said.

“I went food shopping and filled it up, but two days later I went to get meat from the freezer and it wasn’t working.

“All the food and three months’ worth of breast milk was ruined, 100 ounces all gone.”

Miss Richards complained to Curry’s, who blamed a manufacturing fault and offered a replacement – but for more money.

“They said the only model they had for delivery was £80 more,” she said.

“I told them I had lost all of the milk Darcy needs, and after a few hours of back and forth, they offered me £30 to make up for the loss.

“It was a complete insult. The milk was irreplaceable and losing it means we now have to top up Darcy’s diet with formula food, which I was determined not to do.

“They say breast is best, and I wanted to do all I could to keep her on breast milk, but now I haven’t got a choice.”

After being contacted for a comment by the Kentish Gazette, Curry’s offered Miss Richards £150 for the lost food and said it would cover the extra cost of the more expensive freezer.

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