BURGLARS stole jewellery from an 85-year-old woman as she slept while raiding her remote farmhouse.

The break-in took place at in West Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, at some point between 10pm on Monday, October 1 and 7am the following day.

Intruders got into the house, where the elderly victim lives alone, and searched several rooms including the bedroom where she lay sleeping.

As well as jewellery and antiques, the burglars also took a bank card, which they used to withdraw money from her account.

Detective Constable Stephen Gothard, of Chester-le-Street CID, said: “The victim was very distressed by the burglary and has been left distraught by the loss of her jewellery.”

Police are now are appealing for help to find the jewellery, which includes the victim’s engagement ring, as well as silverware and other antiques.

Two suspects have been arrested but officers are keen to hear from anyone who has been offered the missing jewellery for sale.

DC Gothard said: “We would ask anyone who can assist with the recovery of the stolen jewellery to contact us.

“If anyone has come into possession of this property unwittingly, they can come forward without fear of prosecution.”

Frederick Cowie, 45, of Sowerby Street, Sacriston, and Dennis Burdon, 25, of Henley Avenue, Pelton Fell, have been charged with burglary and fraud by false representation.

They have been remanded in custody to appear before Durham Crown Court on November 2.