Jailed: The thieves who stole Christmas

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TWO heartless raiders who stole children’s Christmas presents during a break-in at a family home have been put behind bars.

Jack Phillipson, 21, and Ryan Feldman, 20, made off with the gift-wrapped treats along with other personal property after raiding a house in Glebe, Washington, while the occupants were asleep in the early hours of December 2.

Newcastle Crown Court heard a 43-year-old grandmother has been left devastated at the thought of her home being raided and precious presents being targeted.

She told police in a statement: “I can’t describe how I feel, for someone to come in my house while I’m asleep and take my grandchildren’s Christmas presents. It is too much to take in. I don’t feel secure in my home.

“They have taken my security away. I am devastated.

“The presents were in the room where the grandchildren stay when visiting me. Fortunately, they were not staying over that night.

“It has been preying on my mind what would have happened if they had been.

“It would have terrified them if they had been there. I am not sleeping. I’m anxious and on edge because someone has been in my house.

“The fact I could have woken up and bumped into them is a constant worry.”

The court heard the couple and two teenage children had been asleep when the house was raided and were woken by noises.

They saw Christmas presents dropped on the landing and when police, who had been contacted by neighbours, arrived, the officers found more gifts dropped in a nearby lane and bags of presents packed in a car parked nearby.

Phillipson, of Garden Place, Penshaw, and Feldman, of Drumaldrace, Blackfell, Washington, were arrested and initially denied burglary when interviewd by detectives, but both went on to plead guilty.

Judge Brian Forster, QC, jailed them both for 16 months for the break-in, and Feldman got an extra six months for breach of an unrelated suspended sentence.

Judge Forster said: “You went by car to a house that was occupied at the time, you went in clearly knowing it would be occupied and what did you steal?

“You took what you could, including Christmas presents.”

Defence barristers said both men pleaded guilty and are not career burglars.