A Christchurch man who stole a priceless war medal has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Joshua Lukic stole the New Zealand Memorial Cross medal during a burglary of a Redwood house in December.

The medal was given to the family of Ian Jones, after his uncle died fighting in El Alamein in Egypt.

Property including a 42-year-old engagement ring, other jewellery, foreign currency, digital camera, and Fire Service medals were also taken.

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In sentencing, Judge Stephen O'Discoll called the 30-year-old a high-risk offender with a history of offending dating back to 2002.

He said the main cause of Lukic's offending was his drug addiction and he would continue to offend unless he got treatment.

Jones said the sentence was not long enough but at least he could now put the incident behind him.