TWO burglars who made off with a shotgun from one of their raids have each been jailed for four years.
Karl O'Kill, and Liam Bolton, both aged 19, were arrested after breaking into a home on Lynsdale Road in Brynhyfryd in June this year.
Swansea Crown Court heard how the pair, who had a history of burglary, had gained entry to the house after its owner had left a window open, and forgotten to put away a ladder he had been using to work on the outside of his house.
Prosecuting, Frank Phillips told the court: "The home was ransacked.
"Every cupboard and drawer had been opened, and items thrown around the floor
"The mess was so extensive the owner left clearing up until the next day."
It was while tidying his home, the owner discovered his shotgun, which was fully licensed and locked away, had been discovered and taken, as well as some ammunition. The gun was said to be worth around £800.
They had also taken jewellery belonging to the owner's late wife, worth around £1,600, their wedding certificate and bank documents.
O'Kill, of Catherine Drive, Tongwynlais, was arrested following a later burglary in Neath in August, and a search of his mobile phone revealed photos of him and Bolton with the gun, a semi-automatic pump action 12 bore weapon.
It revealed the pair had attempted to shorten the barrel of the gun, but in doing so had broken it and rendered it useless.
The court was told the pair had pleaded guilty to the charges before them, of burglary and conversion of a weapon, at the first opportunity.
O'Kill had asked the court for 18 similar burglaries to be taken into consideration, and Bolton has asked for two. Addresses had been targeted in Cardiff and in Neath.
Mitigating, Lee Davies representing Bolton, of Hollett Road, Treboeth, said: "They were far from sophisticated criminals in the way they acted."
And John Hipkin, representing O'Kill, added: "This gun could not be fired and was not capable of being discharged or working".
He added: "He now has a partner and a young child, and wants to put this life of crime totally behind him.
"To use a cliche, he wants to wipe the slate clean."
Sentencing, Judge Huw Davies said: "The shotgun was shortened and the barrel cut down. In the process of doing so you some how rendered it useless as a fire arm, but I do not think you did it deliberately, or in a benign way.
"I have come to a conclusion you were cutting it down for some kind of demonstration would be made of it, or surrounded by criminal activity.
"You buried the gun and threw away the ammunition, but converting a gun amounts to a serious offence.
"You both have a history of dwelling house burglaries."
The pair were each jailed for a total of four years.