BURGLAR has been jailed for 21 months after sneaking into a flat above a pub and stealing valuable and sentimental items from the licensee and his family.
Phillip Lewis, 37, stole a wedding ring, children’s Christening bands and an X-box, which had been a birthday present to the landlord’s son that week.
Preston Crown Court heard the landlord’s wife and children, aged 11 and nine, were in another room in the flat over the Kinetic pub in Market Street, Chorley, when Lewis, of Halliwell Street, Chorley, crept inside and stole the property.
Lewis was arrested less than an hour after the theft, but none of the property was recovered and the family was not insured against the loss, the court heard.
Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said: “There is sentimental loss, there is financial loss and continual personal loss, distress and effect on the lives of the family.
“Both the landlord and his wife no longer feel it is appropriate to leave the children in the flat while they work downstairs.
“The children are disturbed and frightened – that is the damage that is caused by this sort of offence.”
Since the offence on October 1 last year, Lewis has been remanded in custody and has taken steps to address the drug addiction which led to his offending.
The court heard he has a lengthy criminal record which includes offences of theft, shoplifting and supplying class A drugs.
But Judge Newell said: “It seems to me there are two reasons it would not be right for me to impose a sentence which would allow for an immediate release.
“Firstly, the crime itself does not warrant i.
“And without stable accommodation, the circumstances you would return to are very likely to undermine the good work that has gone on while you have been in prison.”