A MAN has been reunited with a clock that belonged to his grandfather ... seven years after it was stolen.

Paul Janes and his wife Annette returned home from a night away on January 15, 2015, to find numerous rooms in the house had been ransacked and the clock missing.

The clock had been presented to Paul’s grandfather, Leonard King, for assisting a police officer from Maidstone Borough Police with the arrest of two violent prisoners on Boxing Day in 1925.

The couple, from Battle, reported the burglary to police but the case was filed after an investigation found no viable lines of enquiry.

The Argus: The clock was presented to Paul's grandfather after assisting police with the arrest of two violent prisonersThe clock was presented to Paul's grandfather after assisting police with the arrest of two violent prisoners

A few years later, the clock turned up at a boot sale in the village of Ford, near Littlehampton, where it was purchased. It changed hands again after being listed on eBay.

The bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, spotted the listing and undertook some research after reading the clock’s personalised plaque and feeling concerned that such a personal possession would not have been sold legitimately.

The Argus: The personalised plaque on the clockThe personalised plaque on the clock

After doing some research, he found an article in The Argus about the burglary and contacted Sussex Police. Detectives from Hastings CID then contacted Paul and Annette to tell them the clock had been located.

Paul said: “I was absolutely astonished and delighted. I never expected to see it again.

“I am so grateful to the finder, who would only let me cover his purchase fee on the understanding that he could donate it to a firefighters’ benevolent fund, as he was an ex-Metropolitan firefighter who retired some years ago.”

Detective Sergeant Chris Milner said he was “delighted” to be able to reunite the clock to Paul.

He said: “It also shows the vital importance of police actions, such as listing items on property databases and publicising such crimes in the media, in the hope that one day they will be identified and returned.”