A WARWICKSHIRE pensioner was distraught, when she found what two burglars, who drove across her lawn to get away, as she arrived home, had taken.
Apart from stealing jewellery, cameras and a television, they had taken treasured letters from her mother and grandmother dating back at least 38 years.
One of the pair, Benedict Russell, sobbed as a Judge at Warwick Crown Court jailed him for 12 months. Russell (22) of Priory Road, Hall Green, had pleaded guilty to burglary at the pensioner’s home in Mill Lane, Tanworth-in-Arden.
Prosecutor Iain Willis said that when the pensioner returned home at 2.30pm she saw a car had been reversed right up to the porch. The car, driven by Russell, suddenly came towards her and then cut across the grass.
When she went inside she found her home had been systematically searched, property worth £4,850 had been stolen but, most distressingly, a jewellery box containing two pearl necklaces, a gold chain and a ring, also held treasured letters sent to her by her mother and grandmother between 1955 and 1972.
The woman, who said she had been given the signet ring by her aunt when she was 18, added: “I can’t understand how a young man could do such a thing. I would be ashamed if it was a grandson of mine.”
Russell had entered his plea on the basis he had no idea that the other man, Damien Scarlett was planning to burgle the house when he took him there in his car.
He was high on cannabis and claimed he did not know what was going on until Scarlett returned with the television.
But Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said: “I will accept he didn’t know before the burglary started, but these sort of items do not come in one hand to the car. It must have been obvious to him what was happening, and he then drove off across the lawn when this lady came home.”