An elderly lady, whose home of more than 50 years was broken into by a burglar, today said: “I just feel sorry for him.
Brenda Southworth, 82, and husband William, 86, were distraught when they returned from a hospital appointment to find sentimental ornaments they had collected over the years had been stolen from their home in Leyland.
The most upsetting thing is he stole a clock that was given to me at Christmas more than 30 years ago by my daughter, before she left home.
Burglar Steven Wilkes, 34, of Leyland Lane, Leyland, was jailed for three years nine months after admitting the burglary – his fourth strike.
The couple, who have two daughters, five grandchildren and a great grandson, arrived to find Wilkes had left the security chain on their front door so they could not get in.
William, a retired British rail worker, went around the back and made the frightening discovery.
His wife of 62 years, Brenda, a retired Leyland Motors wages clerk, said: “The most upsetting thing is he stole a clock that was given to me at Christmas more than 30 years ago by my daughters.
“He also stole a money box I got from Jersey, and a meerkat ornament my children bought.
“They are sentimental.”
Brenda, who used to be a helper at St Catherine’s Primary School, added: “It hit me hard at first.
“We have lived here more than 50 years and never had this happen, so we were unsettled, but I am feeling better now.
“I heard he was beaten up afterwards and we saw pictures of him – I felt sorry for him. He’s a young lad and he will lose the next two years of his life in prison. We were given the chance to meet him and we both said we didn’t want to.”