TWO burgling brothers who raided a house as a couple slept in their bed, have started 15-month terms of detention.

Stephen Taylor, 18, was looking for cash to furnish his new home, while Carl Taylor, 17, "just got caught up" in the house-breaking plan hatched between his elder brother and accomplice Barry Carter, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Sending the pair to a young offenders institution, Judge Raymond Bennett said it was merciful the victims were not disturbed.

He went on: "Can you imagine what it must feel like to go downstairs and realise you have been burgled and then, horror of horrors, to realise somebody has actually been in the room where you were sleeping and taken your possessions?

"They will probably never feel safe again in their own bed."

Stephen Taylor, of Kingsley Crescent, Church, and Carl Taylor, of Warwick Street, Accrington, both admitted burglary, at the house in Oswaldtwistle. John Wishart, prosecuting, said the couple went to bed, checking their house was secure. Within minutes of them noticing their home had been burgled the next morning, the police turned up with a bundle of stolen property.

The Taylor brothers and Carter, recently sent to custody for 30 months, had taken goods worth £1,080, including a half sovereign ring.

By chance, a driver saw three people carrying electrical equipment and took their taxi number. Police tracked the taxi firm and went to a house.

Eventually, they found the two Taylor brothers and Carter in an upstairs bedsit. All the stolen property was recovered.

Jonathan Dickinson, defending, said Stephen Taylor had had a misguided intention to try and furnish his own property. It had dawned on the Taylors the effect their behaviour might have on the victims.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.