AN expensive piece of life-saving equipment which “mysteriously” went missing back in March has now been returned.

Last summer, the Clacton-on-Sea Lions Club purchased a defibrillator, worth £1,500, using vital funds raised from community donations.

Positioned outside the Tom Peppers pub, in Marine Parade West, the emergency apparatus was unveiled by Clacton MP Giles Watling.

Following a service check earlier this year, however, it was established the defibrillator had either been stolen, or used and not returned.

Six months on, and it has now been finally returned by a man from Brentwood, but not before the organisation had forked out on a new one.

A spokesman for the Clacton-on-Sea Lions Club said: “We would like to thank Mr Ron Ridge for the safe return of the defibrillator.

“Mr Ridge is a member of Heartstart Brentwood First Responders and managed to trace the ownership by contacting the registration number authorities.

“It was pleasing to know that it was used as one of its pad packaging had been opened.

“New pads will be purchased, and the unit placed into safe storeage for the meantime.

“Unfortunately, its return came a few days after a new one had been purchased at a considerable cost.”