TWO brothers have been sentenced over burglaries in Pontypool - including one which saw more than £50,000 worth of jewellery stolen.

Henry and David McAllister were handed two year and three month terms for the offences at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday, after previously pleading guilty to the charges.

David Pugh, prosecuting, told the court the elder of the brothers, Henry, 27, raided the home of a couple, aged 63 and 64, who had gone away for the weekend on September 29 last year.

McAllister, of no fixed abode, smashed open a window to enter the home in Parc Panteg, before ransacking two safes bolted into a cupboard in an upstairs bedroom.

He stole £52,000 worth of jewellery in the safe, as well as 3,300 Euros, passports, vehicle documents and spare keys.

The jewellery, which was only covered up to £30,000 on insurance, contained unusual pieces from a family collection which were not replaceable, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement, the female victim said she was left feeling “gutted and sick” after the theft.

“The emotional pain is really terrible because most of what has gone had an emotional significance,” she said.

“I am devastated and my heart is broken.”

Police were alerted when a neighbour saw three men leaving in a black Audi, with two of them reported as carrying boxes. These were in fact the safes.

The Audi, which had false registration plates, was later found with McAllister’s DNA in the vehicle.

David Rees, defending, said McAllister had lost a ‘dear’ grandfather before the offence and that he has a partner and three children.

In a similar burglary, his brother, David, 23, of Wentloog Road, Cardiff, broke into the home of another Pontypool family on the night of August 27 last year.

The owner had been to London for the day but returned at around 9pm when he heard a noise from upstairs and saw a light on, the court was told.

The court heard he had a scuffle with the householder after running downstairs carrying a jewellery box and plastic container with coins, before fleeing the scene and escaping in a Saab, which also had false registration plates.

Around £1,800 was stolen from a purse in a bedroom, while CCTV equipment which had been installed after another burglary at the home was also taken.

In a victim impact statement, the family said they had since moved to Cardiff fearing a repeat.

“We are a hard-working family who are dismayed that other people take from us what we have honestly earned,” the statement said.

Edward Mitchard, defending, said McAllister had voluntarily written a letter to the victim apologising for the distress caused.

Already in prison for other offences, the brothers will see the time handed down to them by Judge Michael Fitton QC added on to their current sentences, to run consecutively.

The judge said both had a long record of previous convictions.