Felsted woman to be reunited with grandfather's stolen First World War medals
PUBLISHED: 08:13 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:13 30 August 2019
A Felsted woman will be reunited with her grandfather's First World War medals after her home was ransacked.
The victim, who does not want to be named, will receive the pair of medals after two men were convicted at Ipswich Crown Court on August 23.
Daryl Flanagan, 36, of Lancaster Avenue, Watton, Surrey, received 12 months for handing stolen goods and Jack Lannen, 19, of Warren Road, Halstead, will serve 13 months in a young offenders' institute for burglary and handling stolen goods.
On Thursday 24 January, a woman returned home to find that her home and been broken in to, with jewellery and the medals missing.
Three days later Flanagan and Lannen were seen driving in Theftord, Norfolk, with number plates covered. They abandoned their vehicle after a pursuit and were found hiding in woodland.
Lannen had a blue jewellery bag down his trousers containing the medals, a silver royal wedding coin and jewellery.
The victim said: "My grandfather, Albert Phillibrown, has a unique surname and when officers located his medals in Norfolk, they set about trying to find who they belonged to.
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"Bizarrely, officers quickly realised that a senior Essex Police officer had the same surname and with his help, they were able to locate and inform me of the discovery.
"My grandfather served as a gunner at the Royal Garrison Artillery in the First World War, so these medals were of great importance to me.
"Sadly, other items that I've been collecting since the age of four such as badges and broaches and locks of my children's hair were never recovered and I would urge anyone with information to please contact police."
Chief Inspector Richard Phillibrown, deputy commander, said: "I was really happy that I could assist with the investigation to ensure that the medals were returned to the owner because they are of sentimental value.
"I've since discovered that myself and the woman are distantly related and we are now in contact. It was really nice to find a family connection."
Investigating officer DC Gemma White, of Braintree CID, said: "We started our investigation after a woman was left devastated after her grandfather's medals and treasured jewellery were stolen.
"It didn't take officers long to locate Flannagan and Lannen who were in possession of stolen property, which were mostly items of real sentimental value.
"I'm delighted we will soon be able reunite these items with the victim following the case's conclusion, which saw Flanagan and Lannen sent to prison for their actions."
If you have any information about the whereabout of the victim's missing belongings, ring police on 101.