A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER has been left devastated after jewellery given to her by her late husband and son was stolen from her home in York.

Daphne Read, 71, returned to her house in Huntington Road to find thieves had taken numerous items of jewellery and unopened Christmas presents.

The jewellery was given to her by her husband, John, who passed away in December two years ago, and her son, David Bamber, who died earlier this year, aged 49.Mrs Read, known to friends as Stevie, said: “It’s a part of my life, I have collected [the jewellery] since I was in my twenties.

“I couldn’t believe it. I just didn’t know how to deal with the situation. It has been our home for nearly 30 years... we have never had any problems with burglary before, it seems really awful somebody could do this when I’m really feeling like I don’t want anything drastic to happen. I don’t want to go into the house any more.”

Many of the items were bought from Mr and Mrs Read’s travels in Australia, Canada and Greece, she said.

The stolen jewellery includes gold chains, a gold heart decorated with rubies, a silver fish on a chain, a two-inch solid silver bar, opal earrings and an opal necklace and a large silver ring decorated with a number of stones.

Mrs Read said she was offering a reward for the return of the jewellery.

Her daughter, Jackie Houston, said it was especially upsetting as her mother had a “heart of gold”, volunteering for numerous charities and recently baking thousands of mince pies for people in care homes.

She said: “The jewellery is irreplaceable. I was upset and crying but now I feel angry.

“People are saying at least she wasn’t in the house as she might not be here now.

“My mum has a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody. She is a tower of strength to people less fortunate than herself. My dad died at this time of year so it was really close and has happened at Christmas when we like to be together – it’s too close.”

Mrs Read’s home was burgled between 4pm and 11pm on Thursday. Police ask anyone who has information about the break-in or who has been offered the jewellery for sale to phone them on 101.

Det Con Simon Fennel said: “The victim was very shaken up by this intrusion into her home and the theft of these very sentimental items.”