A TERRIFIED woman emerged from the shower at her Brierley Hill home just minutes after her husband and son had left to find three men burgling the property.

She heard noises and assumed they had returned but when she stepped out of the shower she found one man rifling through the drawers in her bedroom.

The woman quickly put on her dressing gown and began screaming as Carlton Betts made his getaway with a handbag containing her wedding and engagement rings, valued at £1,700.

A second man took £500 in cash and two air rifles from her son's bedroom, while a third raider picked up the keys to her car with the intention of driving off in the vehicle.

David Swinnerton, prosecuting, said the woman, of Lorrainer Avenue, chased after the three men and she managed to get them to abandon her car.

They then fled in a Vauxhall, which Wolverhampton Crown Court was told, was abandoned after it was spotted by patrolling police officers following a short chase in which some of the property taken by the trio was thrown out of the windows.

Betts, aged 18, was later found hiding in the toilets of a nearby public house and the rest of the stolen property was recovered from the Vauxhall, along with balaclavas, hammers and knives that were not used in the burglary.

Betts, of High Street, Princes End, Tipton, admitted carrying out the raid and he was sent to a young offenders institution for 27 months.

Judge John Warner told him: "It is difficult to imagine what it must be like for a woman to be in the shower, hear noises and come out to find three people burgling her home.

"She must have been really scared.

"You have committed a dreadful crime."