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Hawkinge father jailed over theft of First and Second World War medals

A father-of-two has been jailed for 28 months after police found him with stolen First and Second World War medals.

Michael McDonagh, 29, said he had bought the items, which had been taken during a burglary in Hawkinge.

He admitted handling the medals and also admitted burgling a house in Cheriton High Street on September 17. He denied stealing the medals from a house on October 21 and this charge will lie on the files.

Dominic Connolly, prosecuting at Canterbury Crown Court, said the owners of the house in Cheriton High Street returned home and found every room had been ransacked and cash and jewellery stolen.

Michael McDonagh, has been jailed over the theft of war medals
Michael McDonagh, has been jailed over the theft of war medals

In the second burglary, war medals of a significant sentimental value were stolen and 10 days’ later police went to an address where McDonagh was. He was seen to discard the medals which he said he had bought.

Phil Rowley, defending, said McDonagh, of Perrot Way, Hawkinge, had a poor record of convictions due to his past addictions to drink and drugs.

"When he was 11 his older brother murdered his younger brother and from that age onwards it was a descent into drug use," Mr Rowley said. "He has been out of trouble for some time and got involved in these events at the behest of another."

Mr Rowley said McDonagh was in a long-term and settled relationship and had children aged five and two. He was unfit for work because he had epilepsy, Mr Rowley added.

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