Two housebreakers who threatened to burn down their victim’s home when they were disturbed raiding it at dead of night have received lengthy prison sentences.

Marc McCrory and Nathan Cawley were labelled “pernicious and wicked” for the burglary in Ghyll Wood Drive, Cottingley, Bingley, at 1am on February 12.

McCrory, 23, of Lower Grange Close, Bradford, was jailed for four years and Cawley, 24, of March Cote Lane, Cottingley, was locked up for three years and seven months.

Prosecutor Clare Walsh told Bradford Crown Court on Tuesday that the householder was asleep in bed when he was alerted by a neighbour that his home was being burgled.

The defendants had removed the television set from the detached house and were piling other property into a stolen Ford Fiesta.

McCrory complained when a torch was shone into his eyes, Mrs Walsh said.

When the neighbour’s son took the Fiesta keys, the burglars threatened to burn the house down. They warned that they would return with a knife and then they threw stones at the residents.

McCrory and Cawley then got into the householder’s car and tried to steal it but it was immobilised, so they hurled a boulder at another residents’ car, denting it and smashing a window.

Mrs Walsh said that Cawley had a screwdriver while they were making threats.

He and McCrory had loaded stolen laptop computers, car keys, school bags, speakers and coins into the Fiesta, the court heard.

They were identified from CCTV footage and from fingerprints left on the Fiesta.

Both were arrested three days later and made no comment to the police.

They pleaded guilty to burglary and attempting to steal the car.

McCrory had 15 previous convictions for 23 offences. It was his fourth court appearance for house burglary and he was on licence at the time. He asked the court to take into account three more offences of house burglary, including the one in which the Fiesta was stolen.

Cawley had previous convictions for house burglary, theft and robbery.

McCrory’s barrister, Jayne Beckett, said he had resolved to keep out of trouble when he was released from prison in October last year. But he got into debt, became depressed and fell back into his old ways.

He had now cleared the slate and wanted to make a fresh start because he knew he was wasting his life.

Gerald Hendron said Cawley had been drinking and abusing drugs at the time while staying at various temporary addresses.

Judge Rose said the men were guilty of “pernicious and wicked behaviour.”

They had scouted out a house to burgle and removed a lot of property when they were disturbed by the brave actions of the neighbours. The father and son should be commended for their courage in thwarting the burglary.