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War widow's relief as burglar is jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:21 12 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

A WAR widow has spoken of her relief after the burglar who stole her husband's war medals was jailed for three years.

Violet Long, 84, had her worst fears realised in July when a man broke into her house while she was there.

A WAR widow has spoken of her relief after the burglar who stole her husband's war medals was jailed for three years.

Violet Long, 84, had her worst fears realised in July when a man broke into her house while she was there.

She was in the front garden of her home, in Robinson Close, Bury St Edmunds, when the intruder broke in.

Having come inside, Mrs Long noticed she had left the back door unlocked but thought little of it.

She then went upstairs and tried to open the bedroom door but could not as a chair had been put up against the handle on the inside.

Peering through the gap, Mrs Long saw the room had been messed up, with things thrown around the floor, and then went back to the kitchen.

When she got there she saw a man climbing out on to a low roof and then disappearing over the fence.

He took with him the irreplaceable medals her husband, who died last year, had been awarded for his service in the army during World War Two.

The raider also took around £1,500 worth of jewellery and left Mrs Long fearing for her own safety and security in her home.

The man was Dennis O'Brien, a 39-year-old criminal with 22 previous convictions for house burglaries, who admitted breaking in to Mrs Long's home when he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court, on Friday. O'Brien, of Princess Drive, Liverpool, was given a three year jail term.

Mrs Long said: "I have tried to forget it, but I can't. He came right into my house. It seems that I do nothing these days but lock doors and it's horrible being stuck inside.

"I just want to put it all behind me, so I'm glad it is over now. I just want to forget it"

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