A couple from Bromley have been jailed for a series of distraction burglaries committed across London, Kent and Surrey.

The pair were sentenced on Tuesday at Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty on February 28 to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Michael Doran, 39, self-employed of no fixed abode was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison.

Geraldine Ward, 36, a housewife from Burnt Ash Lane, Bromley was jailed for three years.

The pair carried out the burglaries with help from a 13-year-old boy who would distract the occupants while Doran searched the address and stole money, jewellery and bank cards.

Ward provided the transport, driving the trio to various locations across London, Kent and Surrey.

She would then pawn the stolen jewellery and attempt to withdraw cash using the stolen bankcards.

One of the first offences the trio committed occurred in Wyvern Close, Dartford, June 7 last year.

The victim - a disabled man in his 60s - received a knock on his door from a young boy. The boy asked if he could access the victim's back garden of the property to retrieve a toy.

After searching the garden with the boy, they then both went into the victim's house.

The victim went upstairs where he discovered a man in his bedroom rifling through his belongings.

He shouted at the man and the boy and they both left the property.

Items including a Rotary Monza watch and £400 in cash were stolen.

Doran, Ward and the 13-year-old boy were eventually caught following a proactive operation, led by officers from Lewisham's Burglary Unit.

During the course of the investigation, CCTV was seized showing Doran and the 13-year-old boy in the vicinity of a burglary on July 14 last year in Kingston.

Ward's role in the burglaries became apparent when she was seen driving the 13-year-old boy and Doran to an address in Kensington on August 6 last where they attempted to trick the occupier into letting them in by asking for a pen and paper.

Despite covering her face she was also captured on CCTV on August 11 trying to withdraw cash from an ATM using a bank card stolen from a burglary in Surrey earlier in the day.

Detective Constable Kevin Seed, Investigating officer from Lewisham said: "These burglaries were pre-planned and this pair targeted mainly elderly residents, many with serious health and mobility issues.

"Doran and Ward ruthlessly selected their victims and the use of a young boy to commit these offences shows how they took advantage of their victim's kindness and good nature.

"The lengthy sentences they have received reflects the seriousness of the offences they carried out and shows neither the police nor will the courts tolerate these types of crimes."

Doran, Ward and the 13-year-old boy were arrested on September 3 last year.

Doran, Ward and the boy were all charged in September with conspiracy to commit burglary after they were identified by a number of their victims.

The trio were eventually linked by officers in Lewisham to 48 offences carried out across London, Surrey and Kent between June 1 and September 3 last year.

The 13-year-old boy who also pleaded guilty on February 28 along with Doran and Ward will be sentenced on April 29.