Seven medals belonging to serviceman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are stolen

Shawn Winters

Shawn Winters - Credit: Archant

A SERVICEMAN whose tours have included Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan is hoping whoever stole treasured medals during a burglary has the heart to return them.

Haverhill resident Shawn Winters, who is a Warrant Officer Class 2 with the Royal Logistic Corps, said if the seven medals were returned to him personally “there would be no questions asked”.

During the burglary last Saturday in Wratting Road, at the home where he lives with his partner Eleanor Farrant, the following medals were stolen: two Operational Service Medals for Iraq and Afghanistan; a General Service Medal for Northern Ireland; a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal; an Accumulated Service Medal; a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

WOC2 Winters, 39, who is a chef with the Royal Logistic Corps, said whoever had taken the medals - which have his name on - had shown “wanton disregard for anyone else’s personal possessions”.

Items also taken during the burglary, between 7.15pm and 10.30pm, were jewellery - including christening bands belonging to Miss Farrant - and an Apple iPad 2, a Toshiba A100 Laptop and a Blackberry Torch phone.

It is the second time in about seven months the couple’s home has been burgled.

Speaking of the medals, WOC2 Winters, said: “They are worthless to other people. What angers me more is they don’t know the situation behind earning these.”

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He is applying to the Ministry of Defence for replacement medals, but added: “They are not the ones I was on large parades getting presented to me by chief of staff and the other really quite high-ranking officers in and around that time.

“It was quite good to be with 500 people from the regiment all getting issued your medals. That’s part of the reason they hold an awful lot of memories to me these medals [the campaign medals].”

His military career has included six tours in Northern Ireland from 1991 to 2000, a tour of Iraq in 2002 and tours of Afghanistan from 2002 to 2003 and in 2008.

WOC2 Winters, who is currently on resettlement leave as he is due to retire from the Army in July, received his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for completing 15 years of service without any blemishes on his record.

He said: “It would be nice if they just popped them [stolen medals] through somebody’s letterbox, a newspaper’s letterbox, once they realise they are so difficult to shift.”

The couple had gone out for a meal to celebrate both of their birthdays when the burglary happened.

Miss Farrant, 39, said she felt “upset and just angry” about the break-in “because you cannot do anything”.

She added a necklace, a silver heart on a T-bar chain, which her parents had bought to replace the original stolen during the last burglary, had been taken this time.

During the burglary, the rear patio doors were forced open to gain access.

Anyone with information in relation to the break-in is asked to contact Pc Verdun Baptist at Bury St Edmunds Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.