A COUPLE admitted handling stolen goods after police found a haul of necklaces, bracelets and watches at their house.

Mark Barrett, 34, and girlfriend Nicola Finnigan, 32, were charged following a number of burglaries in Southend, including one at the home of an elderly woman who has since died.

Police found the jewellery which they believe were stolen during burglaries in Southend, Basildon and Rochford districts, at their home in Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff.

The unemployed couple were charged in January and appeared at Southend Crown Court on Wednesday, June 16.

Barrett, 34, admitted four counts of handling stolen goods while Finnigan, 32, admitted five counts of handling stolen goods.

A woman in her 70s had her home in Westcliff burgled in December last year but she has since died of natural causes.

The couple are due to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, July 24.

Anyone who has been the victim of a burglary or who has been offered jewellery in unusual circumstances should call detectives at Southend police station on 101, email andy.copley@essex.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.