A PENSIONER has been left devastated after thieves ransacked her house while she was away – taking an irreplaceable memento of her late son.

Denise Egerton, 73, returned home last Friday, January 10, to find a window to her conservatory had been smashed.

Thieves had taken a variety of jewellery, including a locket containing some of her late son’s hair.

She said: “When I got back everything was upside down and quite a lot of jewellery had been taken but the locket is the only thing I care about. They can keep everything else, it’s worth money but that can be replaced, the hair can’t.

“It’s just devastating - my granddaughter put a post about it on Facebook and she had a lot of comments but no one’s come forward with any information.”

Denise has had the locket since her son, Paul, tragically lost his life in 1982.

Paul was just 15 when he fell through ice at Kirklee Lodge in Tottington and drowned.

Denise describes the locket as 9-carat gold and decorated with a pattern around the edge. Both sides are covered with glass, with a picture of Paul in one, and a lock of his hair in the other.

Denise added: “I used to wear it all the time and then I thought it was too morbid so I stopped wearing it – but it’s still very important to me.

"The chain was Victorian so it’s quite distinctive and should be easy to spot, but getting that back doesn’t matter.

“They can even keep the locket as long as I get Paul’s hair back, that’s the only thing I’m bothered about. I went round pawn shops to see if it had been taken in, but couldn't find anything."

The burglary took place some time last week. Her son Gary visited the house on Monday, January 6, to put away her Christmas decorations and had not noticed anything unusual.

Gary, who lives in Haslingden, regularly travels to his mum’s home to help her out around the house.

Between Gary leaving the address on Warth Fold Road, and Denise returning home at lunchtime on Friday, some of her most valuable possessions had been taken from her home.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that shortly before 12:15pm on Friday, January 10, police were called to reports of a burglary at a property on Warth Fold Road, Radcliffe.