A WOMAN was punched three times in the face when she came home to find burglars on her property, a court heard.

Householder Susan Connor and a neighbour who had come to her aid then had a terrifying rush to lock themselves inside the house.

Tammy Wharton, 38, of Turpin Court, near Walmgate, was found guilty of burgling Mrs Connor’s home after a three-day trial ended at York Crown Court yesterday.

The jury also convicted Steven Gledhill, 32, of no fixed address, of the same offence after hearing the pair broke in to the house in Acomb with Wharton’s 18-year-old son, Oliver.

Mrs Connor was attacked when she returned to her home while they were still there.

Mrs Connor, who was punched three times in the face by an intruder, told police two other people had also come past her from inside the house.

When a neighbour saw Mrs Connor in the window, holding her face and clearly in shock, she went in and phoned police, at which point Tammy Wharton and Gledhill approached the back door.

Giving evidence by video link, Mrs Connor told the court the man that returned to the door was not the man who hit her, but she said: “We were in a mad panic to get to the door and get it shut and locked to make sure they couldn’t get in because we didn’t know what was going to happen. He said ‘I’m sorry, it was a mistake’.”

Items stolen in the burglary included a silver Pandora watch, a gold necklace, an iPod and various items of medication, none of which were recovered.

Laurie Scott, prosecuting, said Wharton and Gledhill were questioned by police on the day of the break-in close to the Pack Of Cards public house, and arrested, and Oliver Wharton was also arrested nearby.

Holly Betker, for Tammy Wharton, and Victoria Smith-Swain, for Gledhill, said the pair were looking for a house belonging to a friend of Wharton’s, when they had seen Oliver Wharton leaving the house, and went to find out what was going on.

Both had denied they had any part in the break-in.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Wharton and Gledhill: “Steven Gledhill, this is by far and away the most serious matter you have faced and Tammy Wharton, this is the third time you have been convicted of burglary.

“Each of you will be facing a significant custodial sentence.

“Oliver Wharton, although only 18 years of age, has an extremely poor criminal record.”

The pair were remanded in custody until they can be sentenced today alongside Oliver Wharton, who previously pleaded guilty to the burglary, and is currently in Hull prison.