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Two burglars who ransacked the home of an elderly woman while she slept have been jailed.

Darren Lewis, 42, of Heol Dyfed, Hirwaun and Jason Morris, 33, of Bethel Place, were jailed for a total of 12 years for the burglary they committed back in November, 2021 in Hirwaun.The victim – a 90 year-old woman who has since passed away – woke in the early hours to find a man rummaging through her bedside drawer.Terrified, she pressed the lifeline button on her wrist to raise the alarm and the man ran out after hearing the Lifeline speaker had been activated.Police arrived minutes later and a police dog tracked a scent to a lane behind the house.This directed officers to check CCTV in the area which captured two men making their way to and from the victim’s address.Both men were identified them straight away by officers.CCTV was used to track their movements and led officers to Jason Morris’ address in Bethel Place which is less than a mile away.They were arrested and taken into police custody within 24 hours of the incident being reported.A footprint found within the victim's address and in mud in a lane, matched that of a pair of trainers found in a nearby river which were believed to belong to Jason Morris.Clothing which matched what both men were wearing in CCTV was also seized.Both were charged - Jason Morris pleaded guilty to burglary and Darren Morris pleaded not guilty but was convicted by a jury.They appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court to be sentenced on 5th May - Jason Morris was jailed for five years and Darren Lewis – who tried to claim that his co-accused alone was responsible - was jailed for seven years.Detective Constable Joel Rees, who led the investigation, said: “Their actions left their innocent and vulnerable elderly victim traumatised and unable to feel safe in her own home. She has since passed away and it is tragic that she had to endure something as awful.“Both men have been jailed which is where they belong for committing what was a cowardly and despicable crime.”