TWO BROTHERS have been jailed for burgling a pensioner’s home while she was mowing the front lawn.
Warwick Crown Court heard how John and Andrew Gourlay pounced as the 85-year-old was tending to her garden in Cornyx Lane, Solihull.
Once inside, they stuffed a purse and an assortment of jewellery into an empty pillow case before fleeing.
However, they escaped with only costume jewellery and were caught dumping the worthless haul in refuse bins behind a row of nearby shops.
John and Andrew Gourlay admitted burglary at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday (November 4) and were handed 26 and 20 month prison sentences respectively.
Detective Constable Dave Mason said: “They happened to choose a bin owned by a shopkeeper who’d been experiencing problems with fly tippers.
“He noted the car details with the intention of passing them on to the council to investigate – but when he discovered the jewellery he passed the information onto us.”
Detectives arrested Andrew, aged 35, and his girlfriend Miranda Reddall – who admitted distracting the victim by asking for directions while the brothers crept inside the house – shortly after the April 10 burglary.
Reddall, aged 32, who lived with Andrew at Hillstone Road, Shard End, received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, for handling stolen goods.
John, who was living at an address in Pype Hayes, Birmingham, following his prison release last December, was picked up by officers two weeks later.
DC Mason added: “They initially denied any involvement – but we were able to gradually disprove their version of events and finally all three pleaded guilty.
“John was handed a longer sentence simply because he maintained his innocence for longer and was trying to shift blame onto his brother.”