Teenager raids bereaved family’s home

A Nelson teenager raided a house belonging to a recently bereaved family and stole sentimental jewellery in a £1,000 break-in, a court heard.

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The 16-year-old had tried to sell a sapphire and diamond necklace and three watches, but had been told they were fake and had been offered a “pittance” for the haul. He had struck because his hard-up dad had stopped his pocket money.

Burnley Youth Court was told how the elderly occupants of the house on Park Lane, Brierfield, had died not long before the teenager forced his way into the empty property. He was caught after he left blood at the scene. His home was then searched and one of three watch boxes he had taken was recovered.

The boy, who had been on referral order at the time, admitted house burglary, committed between February 27th and 28th. He was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order, with 12 months’ supervision and 40 hours unpaid work and a £260 compensation order was made.

The bench chairman told the defendant: “It is particularly sad that the two elderly people had recently passed away. It was the family that suffered. They have lost sentimental items which no monetary value can be put on.”

The court was told the stolen jewellery was worth £500 and damage was caused to the house to the tune of £580.

Mr Trevor Grice, for the defendant, said some of the stolen property was recovered. The 16-year-old had been doing well on his referral order.

The teenager’s father would normally give him pocket money, but was struggling financially. The solicitor continued: “The defendant had confronted him about not getting pocket money and his father explained the difficulties to him.”

Mr Grice said the 16-year-old had no previous convictions for dishonesty. The solicitor added: “Had he known the background of the people that owned the property, he would have had second thoughts.”

Asked by the magistrates if he had anything to say, the defendant, who was in the dock, replied: “I’m really sorry.”