A PRICELESS locket containing the ashes of the father of Chantale Coady was stolen from her home after armed burglars broke in last month.

Luke Cookson, 18, was sentenced to two years in prison after Swindon Crown Court heard he entered the house through a one-year-old’s play room carrying a knife on February 4.

Cookson had only been out of prison a few weeks before he was caught shining a torch into properties in Rushey Platt with a friend, looking for things to steal.

Ms Coady, 34, had been disturbed by her dog in the night but did not realise anything was missing until the next day, when her handbag and a laptop were gone.

“We had only been living here for two weeks before they came and burgled us,” she said.

“On the night I had come down at about 1.30am because the dog was barking, but I just thought he was cooped up. I let him out and went back up to bed.”

The next day she realised her handbag was gone and a Macbook Air laptop was missing.

“They were caught trying another house about an hour later, and they still had eveything on them but the bag had been emptied,” she said. “There was £180 in cash they did not even notice.

“The necklace was in the bag and had my dad’s ashes in,” she said. “I have put it all over Facebook, and I have quite a large following from my work as a tattoo artist, but even people who knew Cookson did not know what he had done with it.

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“Our dad died five years ago, and he was from Normandy, so I designed the necklace with that in mind. I had put a lot of effort into it. I was looking for a family crest, but I had to go right back to the original Normandy flag and had that designed into a necklace.

“It is absolutely priceless to me. If they sold it off they would only get the weight of the silver.

“The thing that really angers me is they had a knife on them when they came in. They broke into a house through a children’s play room, and there is no hiding that fact. It just shows what scum they are. I think with people like that it doesn’t matter what sentence you give them, they will get out and do it again.”

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting Cookson, said police had recovered most items. “Still missing from the handbag is a purse with about £20 cash, debit and credit cards, earmuffs, some business keys and a driving licence,” she said.

“Also a silver charm necklace missing on a silk lace rope chain. Inside one charm were her father’s ashes which as she says is irreplaceable."

Cookson, of Sheppard Street, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary. He also admitted possessing a bladed article and magistrates gave him a short jail term for it at an earlier hearing.

The court heard he received a 12 month sentence in August last year after admitting two counts of house burglary.