A £1 million painting stolen six years ago has been returned to its owners after it was discovered in a Kingston drug dealer's den.

The work, by Sir Stanley Spencer and titled Cookham from Englefield, was taken from the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Berkshire, in 2012.

Its whereabouts remained a mystery until police arrested Harry Fisher, 28, of Seven Kings Way, in June last year after finding a kilogram of cocaine and £30,000 in cash in his Mercedes.

Officers discovered the artwork under a bed next to three kilograms of cocaine and 15,000 ecstasy tablets when they searched his flat in Kingston.

A further raid on his family home in Fulham found more drugs, making for a total street value of £450,000 and £40,000 in cash.

Fisher was jailed for eight years and eight months at Kingston Crown Court in October last year, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs, acquiring criminal property and handling stolen goods.

His passenger at the time of arrest, Zak Lal, 32, of Rochester, Kent, was jailed for five years and eight months after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs, acquiring criminal property and possession of an offensive weapon.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the painting's owners, who were "devastated" at the loss, were finally reunited with the artwork last month.

Detective Constable Sophie Hayes, of the Metropolitan Police's art and antiques unit, said: "The art and antiques unit was delighted to assist with the recovery and return of this important painting.

"The circumstances of its recovery underline the links between cultural heritage crime and wider criminality.

"The fact that the painting was stolen five years before it was recovered did not hinder a prosecution for handling stolen goods, demonstrating the Met will pursue these matters wherever possible, no matter how much time has elapsed."