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Halstead teenager admits stealing First World War medal

PUBLISHED: 21:40 25 August 2019 | UPDATED: 21:40 25 August 2019

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A First World War medal stolen during a burglary at a house in Essex was recovered by police after a car chase, a court has heard.

Police officers began following a VW Polo in Norwich Road, Thetford, after noticing the vehicle didn't have a front number plate and the rear plate, which turned out to be false, was covered by dirt, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The driver of the car ignored attempts to get him to stop and accelerated away and at one stage drove into a field, said Andrew Thompson, prosecuting.

Officers eventually found the car abandoned in the road and, after a pursuit on foot, they found the driver hiding behind a tree and a passenger from the vehicle hiding in bushes.

When the passenger, 19-year-old Jack Lannen, was searched officers discovered a blue jewellery bag containing two war medals and a royal wedding coin hidden in his trousers.

One of the medals was later identified by the victim of a £10,000 burglary in Felsted three days earlier as a World War One medal belonging to her grandfather who had served during the war.

Lannen, of Warren Road, Halstead, admitted burglary at the house in Felsted on January 24 and handling a VW Polo stolen during a burglary at a house in Blackwater Way, Braintree, on January 11.

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He was sentenced to 13 months detention in a young offenders' institution.

Also before the court was 36-year-old Daryl Flanagan, also known as McMahon, of. Lancaster Avenue, Watton, Thetford, who admitted handling the stolen VW Polo and was jailed for 12 months.

Mr Thompson read a statement from the victim of the Felsted burglary during which the WW1 medal was stolen in which she described as "being scared of her own shadow" since the burglary and having nightmares and difficulty sleeping.

Gareth Hughes, for Flanagan, told the court his client had been on licence for two house burglaries at the time of the handling offence and had been recalled to prison following his arrest.

Sarah Steggles, for Lannen, accepted there had been an untidy search during the burglary and that items of extreme sentimental value were taken.

However, she said some of the stolen items had been found on her clients hen he was arrested and returned to the owner.

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