Burglary gang stole everything from TV to washing powder

Liam Carty was jailed for 42 months
Liam Carty was jailed for 42 months

A burglary gang spent an hour-and-a-half helping themselves to property during an overnight house raid while the unsuspecting victims were asleep upstairs.

The three raiders were caught on cctv making repeated trips in and out of the house in William Street, Hebburn, South Tyneside, in the early hours of March 7.

Emma Roberts was jailed for 33 months

Emma Roberts was jailed for 33 months

Newcastle Crown Court heard more than £1,500 worth of belongings, ranging from a 50 inch television set to a packet of washing powder, were taken during the "extraordinarily long" break-in.

Prosecutor Nicholas Rook told the court one of the householders was eventually disturbed and realised there were strangers in his home.

Police who were called to the house checked cctv cameras outside and instantly recognised serial criminal Ann Marie Simpson from the footage.

Officers tracked her down to a nearby address where they found the 30-year-old, along with accomplices Emma Roberts, 30, and Liam Carty, 25, - and the large haul of stolen belongings.

Anne-Marie Simpson was jailed for 31 months

Anne-Marie Simpson was jailed for 31 months

The only possessions not found and the house and given back to the owners were a suitcase and a wallet.

The court heard the burgled property was shared by three young adults.

One of them said in a victim statement: "I cannot believe someone would come into a home while people are sleeping. They could have done anything. It has been a terrifying experience

"I didn't realise what an impact a burglary would have on me."

Simpson, of Spenser Walk, South Shields, who has more than 150 previous convictions and was on two suspended sentences at the time, has been jailed for two years and seven months.

She had pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing.

Roberts, of Victoria Street, South Shields, who was convicted of burglary following a trial in her absence after she failed to turn up at court, has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Carty, of Westgate Road, Newcastle, who was found guilty after a trial, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Mr Recorder Keith Miller said "the public are entitled to be protected" and told them: "This offence was committed during the course of the night, over what I regard as an extraordinarily long period of time.

"It started at 1.46am and it continued until 3.12am, a period of almost one-and-a-half hours.

"During the course of that time, the three of you were going into the house at different times and coming out with various goods, an enormous amount of goods, mostly electrical but other items as well, including a handbag and washing powder.

"The most serious aspect is the fact you went back on a number of occasions to get more items."

Michelle Stonley, defending, said Simpson has had a heroin addiction which she managed to overcome but had relapsed into drug use at the time of the raid due to tragedies in her family.

Miss Stonley added: "She is thoroughly disgusted in herself for this offence. She is genuinely sorry for her actions."

Vic Laffey, defending Roberts, said the troubled mum has a history of mental health and drug problems and her life had "spiraled out of control" at the time of the raid.

Mr Laffey said Roberts, who has 11 previous convictions, is otherwise "intelligent and articulate".

Graeme Cook, defending Carty, who has more 39 past convictions, had a drug problem.