A woman will be reunited with her grandfather’s First World War medals after they were stolen during a burglary.

The medals will be returned by police after two men were convicted at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.

Daryl Flanagan, 36, of Lancaster Avenue, Watton, Surrey, was handed 12 months in jail for handing stolen goods and Jack Lannen, 19, of Halstead, will serve 13 months in a Young Offenders’ Institute for burglary and handling stolen goods.

It comes after a woman's home was ransacked by thieves on Thursday, January 24.

Jewellery and the war medals were reported missing after the burglary.

Three days later Flanagan and Lannen were seen driving in Theftord with number plates covered. They abandoned their vehicle after being chased by police 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, who wished not to be named, said: “My grandfather, Albert Phillibrown, has a unique surname and when officers located my grandfather’s medals in Norfolk, they set about trying to find who they belonged to.

“Bizarrely, officers quickly realised that a senior officer Essex Police had the same surname and with his help, they were able to locate and inform me of the discovery.

“My father served as a gunner at the Royal Garrison Artillery in World War One, 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’d urged 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.”