England

Stolen badges returned to family of decorated SAS soldier

Kieran McAleese SAS army badges Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Kieran McAleese, left, and PC Alan Reeves with former SAS soldier John McAleese's army badges, which were stolen in a burglary

The family of an SAS soldier celebrated for his role in ending the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege has received his stolen Army badges.

John McAleese, who died aged 62 in 2011, was part of the team in the effort to rescue 26 people in London.

SAS and Parachute Regiment badges were stolen from his Hereford home, then found in a drug dealer's car in 2010.

They were taken again before they could be returned to him, but a former Army colleague helped to trace the family.

Image copyright West Midlands
Image caption SAS soldier John McAleese died before police were able to return the badges stolen from his home

PC Alan Reeves from West Midlands Police returned the badges to Mr McAleese's family.

Widow Joanna went with her son Kieran to Sutton Coldfield police station to collect the items.

"The badges were very dear to John's heart and he was gutted to find they'd been taken," she said.

"They will be returned to pride of place in a glass display cabinet alongside other memorabilia from John's time in the SAS."

Image copyright PA
Image caption John McAleese led Operation Nimrod to end the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980

The Iranian Embassy Siege unfolded when six armed men stormed the South Kensington building.

An audience of millions watched on television as a dramatic SAS raid - known as Operation Nimrod - brought the six-day siege to an end.

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