A 24-year-old man who threatened a family in Downham during a violent burglary has been jailed.

Shane Cosgrove, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary and aggravated burglary.

On June 17 Cosgrave and another suspect broke into a home in Durham Hill before a 52-year-old screaming woman alerted her teenage son to come downstairs.

A large knife was held at the woman’s throat while a second suspect pointed a handgun at her son.

He was forced to lead the suspects to his sister’s bedroom where she was using a laptop.

The burglars asked "where the gold was" before the mum and daughter began to cry.

One of the burglars forced the daughter’s necklace off before stealing her laptop and mobile phone.

He then slapped the mother and daughter in the face before the second suspect demanded money from the son at gunpoint.

After explaining he had no money the suspects left the home and fled on a moped.

Two phones, two laptops and a watch were taken during the burglary.

Blood found inside the home resulted in a DNA match for Cosgrove before he was arrested on June 26.

He was charged and then bailed on July 20 before police were called to another burglary in Minster Road, Sundridge Park, one week later.

Police were called at around 11pm on July 28 to the burglary where £100,000 worth of property was stolen.

Three suspects were involved and a forensic examination found blood at the scene matching Cosgrove’s DNA.

He was arrested and charged with burglary on August 30.

Detective Constable Simon Pleavin, the investigating officer, said: "I am pleased that Cosgrove has been jailed and taken off the streets of London so he cannot cause any more families misery.

"The aggravated burglary was a terrifying ordeal for the family and they are still extremely distressed from it.

"Both incidents have made the victims feel unsafe in their own homes.”

Detectives are appealing for information on the other suspects and have asked anyone who knows anything to call police via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.