VIOLENT burglars have been jailed for 12 years after a pensioner was tied up in her own home and two men made off with tens of thousands of pounds worth of jewellery and cash.

Darren Girling, 42, of East Crescent, Canvey, and Jamie Langley, 29, of London Road, Westcliff, were convicted of burglary with violence after a trial and have been jailed this week.

The victim, a woman in her 70s, had been asleep at her home in Creephedge Lane, East Hanningfield when she was woken by two men at about 4am on May 16, 2017.

One of the men climbed on top of her, grabbed her, and demanded she show them where her safe was. She was attacked, tied up and threatened again before the men took money, jewellery and an air pistol before making off. In total, items worth tens of thousands of pounds were taken.

Detectives identified 29-year-old Jamie Langley as one of the men who carried out the burglary while another man – 42-year-old Darren Girling – had been waiting in a vehicle nearby.

Both men were arrested when a silver BMW Compact, on false plates, was stopped on the A1245 between the Rettendon Turnpike and Rawreth on May 19.

Forensic evidence linked Langley to a screwdriver which was recovered and both men were charged with burglary with violence.

Langley admitted the charge against him at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court in June 2018 but Girling denied the charge and was convicted after a trial. On Monday, Langley and Girling were jailed for six years each. Langley is already serving a ten-year sentence in connection with an aggravated burglary on Canvey in November 2017 and his six-year jail term will run consecutively with that.

Det Insp Steve Nelson, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The victim was subjected to a terrifying ordeal in her own home in the middle of the night. No-one should feel unsafe in their own home, let alone be threatened and assaulted.

“Jamie Langley was one of the men who put the victim through this harrowing experience, while Darren Girling was waiting outside as the getaway driver.

“Langley was left no option, but to admit his crimes due to the evidence against him but Darren Girling forced the victim to re-live the ordeal through a trial.

“They are culpable for the distress she felt. They are dangerous, nasty men and I am glad they are now behind bars.”