A cancer sufferer with just weeks to live has been left heartbroken after callous conmen posed as water board officials and stole irreplaceable jewellery she intended to leave to her family.

The dying woman was at her Surrey home with her husband, who also has cancer, when the two men knocked on her door.

Claiming they were from the water board, the suspects said there had been a leak and they needed to check the water. The men entered their house and left after 30 minutes.

The couple, both grandparents aged in their 70s and from Sunbury-on-Thames, later realised that a large amount of cash and jewellery had been taken.

This included a pair of gold elephant earrings and two pairs of gold horseshoe-shaped earrings she planned to leave to her family after death.

Police said the couple has been "devastated" by the loss, adding: "She is distraught that she will not be able to give her most treasured possessions to them and that they are now in the hands of these cruel and heartless thieves."

Detectives have appealed for anyone with information to come forward. The incident happened at around 5pm on 21 September.

The victim, who did not want to be named, said: "If anyone out there has any idea where our jewellery might be, please get in touch with the police.

"The jewellery has very little monetary value but is irreplaceable to us and it would mean the world to us to get it back."

Each pair of earrings is said to be worth around £60.

Police Community Support Officer Colin Gibbons, from the Spelthorne Neighbourhood Team, added: "The couple have been left devastated by their loss. The victim has only got weeks to live and had already sorted out her jewellery to pass down to her family.

"Both she and her husband, who is also very poorly with cancer, are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them.

"I am appealing to the local community to come forward with any information about anything or anyone suspicious they may have seen in the area at that time. I am also urging anyone with any information as to where this jewellery might be to come forward and help us get it back.

"Returning these items to their rightful owners might go some way to making up for what they have been through."

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 45170104367 or by using https://report.police.uk

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.