An unexpected find in a rented barn in Kent has led to a statue stolen from Nymans returned to its rightful owners.

The statue of a shepherd boy was reported missing from the gardens of Nymans in Handcross on September 1st last year.

A joint venture by Sussex and Kent Police saw the valuable statue found.

It was a member of the public who reported finding the stolen statue thirty-five miles away.

Kent Police received a phone call after the 4’ statue was discovered in a barn near Swanley, on Monday, December 11.

Police recognised the missing sculpture, and arranged its return to the gardens at Handcross.

James Holloway House Steward from Nymans said:

“We are thrilled to be reunited with our statue.

“It is amazing to have it returned to us well over a year after it was stolen, we didn’t believe there was any possibility of it being found.”

The statue was returned to Nymans last Friday, (December 15).

Police Constable Ben Gould of Investigations said:

“This is a fantastic result in being able to reunite the statue with the rightful owners.

“Kent Police were quick to respond to the call and from the press release we issued at the time of the theft, were able to match the description to the statue itself.”

Steven Sibley from New England Road in Haywards Heath has pleaded guilty to theft offences.

The 24 year old was sentenced to a rehabilitation activity and to pay £3,692 in compensation.