ONE of a gang of thieves who raided a family's home while they were at a wedding and took a £3,000 haul, has been locked up for 17 months.

Mohammed Razaq was on a suspended jail term for house burglary with intent to steal at the time.

His three accomplices Adam Khan, Mohammed Ziyadd and Ismael Khan, all aged 20, had never been in trouble before and kept their freedom.

Burnley Crown Court had been told how the defendants stole six gold bracelets, worth between £2,500 and £3,000, and £400 cash from the targeted premises in Elm Street, last October 12.

Police found them nearby on a canal bank 20 minutes later. One of them was in possession of a pair of socks while another had decorating masks. The defendants made no comment when questioned.

Razaq, of Colne Road, Adam Khan, of Castle Street, Ismael Khan, of Peart Street and Ziyadd, of March Street, all Burnley, had earlier admitted burglary. Khan, Khan and Ziyadd each received eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 150 hours unpaid work.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said the victims and their two children had gone to a wedding in Bradford just before lunchtime.

An hour later, a neighbour saw four men come out of the back of the house. He shouted to them and the four ran off. He phoned police, gave a description of the men and the direction they had made off in. Police found them on the canal bank. None of the jewellery or money was recovered.

Mr Parker said when questioned, no admissions were made by any of the accused and for the most part they made no comment. The canal bank was searched and the only items found, in some undergrowth, were a set of keys taken from the property.

The hearing was told Razaq, who has nine offences on his record, received 12 months in custody, suspended for 18 months last year, after being found hiding in the cupboard at a house he was burgling.

Sentencing, Recorder John Bromley-Davenport, QC, said the victims had returned to find their property defiled. He told the defendants: “It was a mean and very unpleasant offence.”