A BURGLAR caught red-handed as he broke into the home of a recently deceased pensioner has been spared jail.

Anthony Creighton, had his pockets full of jewellery and was about to flee the house when he was stopped by the grandson of the pensioner, police said.

Creighton, 39, of Preston Road, Longridge, was caught after Shaun Eastham drove past his grandfather’s house in Fleet Street Lane, Ribchester, and noticed a moped parked on the drive.

“Shaun went to the back of the house and noticed that a window was open and when he got to the bedroom he confronted Creighton and made him empty his pockets before alerting the police,” said PC Jo Galeski, of Clitheroe police.

Officers arrested Creighton and all the property, including a yellow metal pocket watch and some costume jewellery, was recovered.

Detectives said Creighton, who had a string of previous convictions including drug-related incidents, had been a police target in Longridge.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court in relation to the incident, which happened on August 31 last year, and was given a three year supervision order.

The family of Mr Eastham have reacted angrily to the sentence.

Mr Eastham said: “We are very disappointed and disgusted with this result.

“The court system has let down our grandfather.”

Meanwhile, the police also expressed their disappointment at the ruling.

Detective Sergeant, Nigel Watson, of Clitheroe CID, said: “We are aware that the family are very upset at the lenient sentence given to Creighton.”