A BURGLAR who stole a laptop containing years of research on a family's history from a house in Malvern has been jailed for nine months.

Ian Frankum, aged 21, of no fixed address, went into the house in Wedderburn Road, Malvern, through the unlocked kitchen door at 1pm on April 4 this year, Peter Grice, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court. The woman who lived there, a pensioner, was upstairs at the time doing housework.

Frankum took a laptop on which her husband had stored the details of the family history he had researched for a number of years and a handbag with a small amount of cash and bank cards. The laptop has not been recovered.

Mark Sheward, defending, said Frankum was of low intelligence and had difficulty reading and writing. He was easily led and on the day of the offence, he had been with another man threatened him and told him to go in and get the goods.

Frankum, who has been living at St Paul's Hostel in Worcester, gave them straight to the other man, who has not been found. He pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing.

Judge Alistair McCreath said: “It was valuable because it mattered a lot and now it has gone."

He also gave Frankum a 14-day sentence, to run consecutively, for failing to appear at the court last Friday.