A man who was part of a gang that raided a house in broad daylight has been jailed for two years.

John Selfridge, 27, of Yorke Drive, Newark, knocked on the front door of the property in the village of Scotterthorpe, near Gainsborough, posing as a sales rep.

The prosecutor, Mr Jeremy Janes, told Lincoln Crown Court that once Selfridge established no one was in, other members of the gang went to the back of the house and forced their way in using a crowbar.

The raiders stole jewellery and other items including an iPad, mobile phone and camera.

They took a set of car keys and drove away the owner’s £40,000 Audi S3.

Selfridge was later identified from footage on the owner’s CCTV security system. The others involved have not been identified.

The Audi was recovered from a Travellers’ site at Beckingham.

Mr Janes said: “The jewellery included gifts and sentimental items that had been passed down through the family. Irreplaceable items were taken.

“This was a targeted burglary. None of the property taken was recovered apart from the car.”

'The victim describes herself as devastated'

Selfridge admitted burglary and theft of the car on March 22.

Judge John Pini told him: “This was a planned burglary. The victim describes herself as devastated by what happened. I cannot avoid an immediate custodial sentence.”

Mr Nicholas Walsh, defending, said Selfridge had a long-term partner and two children.

“He is angry and disappointed at himself for getting involved in this because of the impact not only on himself but on his young family,”  Mr Walsh said.

He said Selfridge had been doing roofing and gardening work with a gang of Travellers but got himself into debt with them.

“Shortly before the burglary he was approached by the group and told the debt needed to be repaid,” Mr Walsh said.

“He wasn’t in a position to repay the money.

“Various threats were made to him. Ultimately he was cajoled into going along with this enterprise. He was not the prime mover in this.”