A GREAT grandmother has spoken of her trauma at discovering burglars ransacked her home whilst she was asleep, stealing precious jewellery of sentimental value from inside drawers just inches away from where she was in bed.

The victim who we are not identifying woke to hear four loud bangs in the night on Sunday, July 21, but fell back asleep thinking nothing of it.

When the 87-year-old got up in the morning she discovered her home had been turned upside down by the intruders, who made off with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery given to her by her late husband, including her engagement ring.

She is now appealing to the public to keep a lookout for her jewellery, with most of her entire collection built up over the last 60 years taken, along with her three nursing badges.

She noticed something was wrong when she saw all the doors upstairs in her Winklebury home were open, along with drawers in her bedroom.

When she ventured downstairs, she found two sets of patio doors had been broken into, with a concrete bird bath used to smash through her conservatory doors.

“I came downstairs and saw both the doors open and the total mess. I thought ‘what has gone on’,” she said.

Her daughter said: “There was stuff everywhere and the glass had shattered into the garden.”

Along with a significant amount of jewellery stolen, given to the victim by her late husband the burglars also took six wooden dressing boxes, two of which contained jewellery.

But it is the loss of her engagement ring which has caused the most upset, and the pensioner is now facing her first wedding anniversary without it.

The ring, which her husband saved up his weekly £5 earnings as an apprentice electrical engineer to buy, is a solitaire set in platinum with a gold band.

She said: “It was so fragile I only wore it for special occasions.”

Her daughter added: “There was a lifetime’s worth of jewellery there. But the major thing is the engagement ring. She was married for 61 years.

“There’s thousands of pounds worth of jewellery taken and every single piece matters because it’s all been bought by my dad. He loved to indulge my mum with jewellery.”

The victim who has two children and two grandchildren, along with a great grandchild, said the trauma of the burglary had left her “absolutely shattered”, adding: “We haven’t really had time to tidy up. They went through my handbag and took everything out of it. It’s horrific.”

The burglars broke in between 2am and 2.18am, after the street lights in her road go out at 1am.

One her neighbours heard the burglars smashing the glass, but wasn’t able to see them leaving through the back door because it was pitch black.

The family are now appealing to the public to keep a lookout for the items, including antique jewellery, the wooden dressing boxes and the nursing badges, with the hope of tracking down the culprits.

Hampshire Constabulary said that investigations are ongoing, and anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44190255041.