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Jail for three men who burgled local vicar on 70th birthday and injured dog

Kieran Bunce, Leon Rowlands and Marcus Thomas have all been jailed Credit: South Wales Police

Three burglars who stole from a vicar on his 70th birthday and injured his dog have been jailed.

Keiran Bunce, 18, Leon Rowlands, 20, and Marcus Thomas, 30 all from Port Talbot took part in the burglary at Reverend Philip Owen house on May 25 this year.

Reverand Owen was returning home with his wife Joan in Taibach when he she noticed the windows had been smashed.

"Joan cried, 'Look - they've smashed our house.' I came into the garden and could see all the back windows had been smashed."

Rev Owen's dogs were found in the house "petrified" and one of them was injured.

"When I came in through the front both of our animals were petrified. They were in there trying to hide. The vet said it looks like he's been hit with a stick."

"It's had a lasting effect. Instead of a happy pup he once was, he's now terrified."

Rusty was injured in the burglary Credit: South Wales Police

During the burglary, family heirlooms passed down through generations were stolen. Many of these have still not been found.

"We've got sapphires that can't be replaced - my cousin who has passed away gave them to us.

"Our parent's jewellery can't be replaced.

"We were absolutely devastated - All of that jewellery was for our grandchildren. That was in our will - it is heartbreaking".

"If anyone knows anything about it - wherever these items are we don't want the money it's the sentimental value, if you know something, please say. Tell us where they are."

CCTV footage was released showing the criminals inspecting the jewellery.

DC Geraint Evans, of Neath CID, said: “This was a callous burglary which has had a lasting impact on the victims.

“I believe the jewellery which was stolen is still in the local area and the key to reuniting this with the victim’s lies within our communities.

“I would appeal for anyone with information to please contact us on 101”

Kieran Bunce was sentenced to two years and eight months, Leon Rowlands was sentenced to eighteen months and Marcus Thomas was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.