TWO burglars have been jailed for an “earthquake” of a raid at a Winchester jewellers.

Mark McWilliams and Samuel Johnson were part of a gang that broke into the shop in Parchment Street and stole jewellery valued at between £30-50,000.

McWilliams, 37, of Warlock Close, Southampton, was jailed for two years and eight months and Johnson, 36, of Cripstead Lane, Winchester, for two years and six months.

It comes after the pair pleaded guilty to a burglary at Donna Laine Fine Jewellers overnight on January 3-4. McWilliams also pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Winchester Crown Court heard how the store was targeted first in December, when burglars got into the store through a hole in the roof, and then again in January, when they forced their way in through the back door.

Ellie Fargin, prosecuting, read out a victim impact statement from the business owner, Donna Bache, in which she said she had to pay £15,000 out of her own pocket for repairs.

She said: “I don’t think whoever did this has the slightest idea how much this has affected me.

“It looked like an earthquake had happened.”

The court also heard how McWilliams had 27 previous convictions, while Johnson had 16.

Sentencing, Judge Richard Parkes QC said: “You heard the owner’s victim impact statement, the appalling effect it has had on her business.

“Whether or not the shop will recover we have no idea. The consequences for the proprietor have been catastrophic.”

After the hearing, investigating officer PC Helen Carthew said: “They are professional criminals who have nearly lost someone their business. I don’t think they realise the impact it has had. They think it was a non-dwelling, they don’t think there is a victim.”