A bungling burglar who set fire to a home after losing his mobile left behind key evidence of his name, address and what he planned to steal.

Tony Bytheway, 40, was high on drugs when he stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, watches and laptops as residents were on holiday.

After realising he had lost his phone during the raid, he set three fires in the hope of destroying evidence before making off in the owner’s Subaru Impreza.

The McCormack family returned to find their Findon home destroyed and two family pets dead.

They also discovered an iPhone with the culprit’s name and address, along with details of what he planned to loot, where it was being kept and his accomplices.

He stole around 200 watches, including a handful of Rolexes, jewellery including a £5,000 diamond eternity ring, Mr McCormack’s grandfather’s war medals, and his daughter’s laptop with all her coursework on February 16, 2014.

The blaze caused £70,000 worth of damage and was started with the family’s dogs and birds inside, a court heard.

Two of the parrots later died as a result of their injuries. The family had to live in temporary accommodation while it was repaired.

Recorder Mark Milliken-Smith, sentencing at Chichester Crown Court, said Bytheway showed no regard for the family.

He added: “Not only was it your intention to steal everything of value by burgling the property, but by starting three fires you sought to cover your tracks and in doing so recklessly endangered life.”

Bytheway, of Glencathara Road, Bognor, was jailed for seven years and eight for burglary and arson where there was a risk to human life.

He had a string of previous convictions, including burglary dating back to the early 1990s, and had spent time in prison.

His accomplice Matthew Hardy, 36, of Merchant Street, Bognor, was jailed for 12 months and 28 days for handling stolen goods and possession of cocaine.

Tony’s ex-wife Deborah Bytheway, 45, of Ashbee Gardens, Bognor, was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for conspiracy to commit burglary after playing what the judge called a ‘limited’ role in driving him to the scene.

His former partner Natasha Cardwell, formerly of Bognor and now of Oakfields Close, Newbury, was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for handling stolen goods and possession of a small amount of cannabis. All four pleaded guilty.