TWO burglars who raided a family’s home in Flimby late at night have been given long jail sentences.

Less than an hour after they had sneaked into a couple's house in Church Road, Flimby, Nicky Hewitson, 32, and Lee Moore, 43, were caught by police as they walked along the A595 towards Maryport.

Discarded on the ground next them were three bank cards. They had been stolen in the burglary.

The two men were also carrying torches, which police say were part of their burgling equipment that night.

Moore, who was living in a tent at the time, denied taking part in the raid but he was convicted after a trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Hewitson, of Ward Street, Maryport, pleaded guilty.

The court heard how their victims discovered their home had been burgled after hearing a noise late at night on September 24 last year.

The woman who lives in the house looked out of a window and saw one of the burglars walking away.

She and her husband also found that the two culprits had left muddy footprints at the scene of the crime, which the prosecution say proved later to be a link to the two defendants and their footwear.

Going into the house through an unlocked door, they stole a wallet from the hallway.

They were caught some two miles away, the court heard.

Jeff Smith, for Moore, said his client had lived in a tent for four years.

“He was living in filth and squalor,” said the lawyer.

“His life was intolerable.

Yet at the time of the burglary, things had been improving: Moore was drug free and there was a possibility that he would get accommodation.

Sarah Magill, for Hewitson, said that he too was now drug free.

In and out of trouble since he was 16, Hewitson was keen to point out that he did not typically burgle houses.

He apologised to the family affected through his barrister.

Hewitson was distressed to learn that there had been a family in the house, added the barrister.

Judge Nicholas Barker accepted that the intrusion into the victims’ home had been "relatively limited" but he noted that Hewitson had 14 previous non-dwelling burglaries on his record.

He jailed him for 28 months.

Lee Moore, while his criminal record was not as bad as his co-defendant’s, had denied the offence.

The judge jailed Moore for 36 months.