A FRESH-faced burglar who was part of a gang that ransacked a countryside home was accused of “sticking two fingers” up to the courts.

New dad Liam Lowery said he had just been trying to put food on the table. He was tracked down by detectives after a police appeal plastered his face over the net.

Appearing before Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday, the 20-year-old was jailed for two years for his part in the burglary.

Judge Jason Taylor QC said Lowery had an appalling record of failing to comply with court orders – with the burglary committed just two months after he had been released from prison. He had previous convictions for breaking-and-entering and attempted burglary.

“Metaphorically, you have been sticking two fingers up to the court,” the judge said.

Prosecuting, Colin Meeke told the court Lowery was part of three-strong gang that targeted an isolated house in West Gomeldon, near Salisbury, on June 3 this year.

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Liam Lowery Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

The gang, tooled-up with crowbars, were all masked except for Lowery.

One member of the party knocked at the door and acted as a lookout while the others searched the house in the daylight raid.

The homeowner had CCTV installed and was notified via his smartphone that the cameras had been triggered but passed it off of as a camera malfunction.

He returned in the afternoon to find pictures had been pulled from the walls, the keys to a Porsche had been stolen, the thieves had rummaged through underwear drawers and an attempt had been made to remove a gun cabinet.

A piggy bank containing £800 in cash, a rare 50p coin collection worth £90, costume jewellery and a £170 watch had also been nabbed by the gang.

In a victim statement read to the court the homeowner said: “In general, we worry a lot more and fear we will be targeted again.”

Mr Meeke said the young man had been easily identified from the CCTV: “While his partners in crime had the good sense or the professionalism of their trade to wear masks this young man didn’t and he’s extremely recognisable in the camera footage.”

Lowery, of Bosham Close, Toothill, admitted burglary.

Emma Handslip, defending, said her client admitted he was involved. He had been working legitimately on a cash-in-hand basis for the men when they stopped at the house. He was told to knock on the front door. The other men then disappeared.

“He has to accept something really wrong was going on particularly when they disappeared,” she said.

He had got the job in a bid to provide for his girlfriend and young child: “He wanted to be a father figure. He wanted to put food on the table for his family. He went the wrong way about it.”

Ms Handlsip said Lowery had turned a corner in recent months, had moved back to live with his mother in Taunton and was taking more responsibility.

Judge Taylor acknowledged Lowery’s efforts to act more maturely, but he said the burglary was too serious to warrant a suspended prison sentence.

“There was a very untidy and unnecessarily aggressive search which left a trail of carnage in its wake,” he said.

The other members of the gang have not been caught, the court heard.