A mum was left "on edge" in her own home after precious property was stolen during a daylight raid.
The victim's five-bedroom house in Earsdon Road, Houghton, was targeted while she was out taking her young children to nursery and over £1,000 worth of family belongings were taken.
Newcastle Crown Court heard cash from childrens' money boxes and jewellery were stolen during the morning break-in.
But possessions belonging to the family's grandmother, including a necklace, engraved ring and medal were also taken and can never be replaced.
Vince Ward, prosecuting, told the court the items were of huge sentimental value and added: "The medal was a Siberian Exiles cross, a medal awarded by the president of Poland to Polish citizens who were deported to Siberia between 1939 and 1956."
The court heard the mum was left sickened at the fact her childrens' bedrooms had been searched through and was left "on edge" at home.
The incident happened on February 15.
Anthony Newall, of Baker Street, Houghton, admitted burglary and has been jailed for 16 months.
The 30-year-old was on a suspended sentence for a previous break-in at the time.
Judge Robert Adams told him: "The monetary loss may have been measured as a relatively low figure.
"The personal loss, or sentimental loss, would have been significantly greater in the light of the number of items belonging to her grandmother, and to other people, that were taken during the course of the burglary."
Graeme Cook, mitigating, said Newall was a crack cocaine addict at the time and had been put "under some pressure" to commit the offence with another man but has since started to put his life in order and has an offer of work at a plant hire firm.
Mr Cook said Newall did not take any of the family belongings for himself and added: "He is ashamed and embarrassed for what he has done. He would return the items if he had any of them but he hasn't.
"He is very sorry."