A BURGLAR living in Bradford has been jailed for four years after he attacked a woman who disturbed him rifling her jewellery box.

Aleksander Romanowski, 20, of St John’s Crescent, Fairweather Green, had already been sentenced for a burglary in Germany last year before moving to the UK to join up with his wife and three children.

But when he could not find work to support them he returned to crime committing burglaries at the home of pensioners in Dewsbury and Huddersfield in February and then assaulting his victim in Horsforth on April 9.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that on February 14 a 69-year-old woman returned to her home in Burgh Mill Lane, Dewsbury, to find the front door wide open.

She discovered a rock had been thrown through the glass of a rear door and an untidy search made throughout the property with jewellery including two necklaces and three watches of sentimental value taken.

The same day a 77-year-old man living in Bradford Road, Huddersfield, returned from a walk to find his alarm had been activated.

He too discovered a rock had been thrown through the kitchen door to gain access. Drawers had been opened and a jewellery box disturbed but he could find nothing missing.

Miss Pryke said it was on April 9 the burglar struck again at a house in Rawdon Road, Horsforth, after the occupier a 62-year-old woman had gone out leaving her son asleep in his bedroom.

She returned just over an hour later to find a rock had been thrown through glass in the rear door/

Once inside she heard footsteps upstairs and assumed it was her son but when she got to the top of the stairs realised his door was still closed.

She could hear noises in her own bedroom and walked in to discover Romanowski was kneeling on the floor with her jewellery box.

“He immediately stood up and made way towards her and punched her with a clenched fist in the face which caused her to fall backwards.”

Miss Pryke said the victim thought the burglar would then flee but he approached her again punching two or three times more before leaving with jewellery and other items.

His victim was left with a black eye and double vision and reluctant to sleep in the room where she had been assaulted. The burglar was traced through DNA.

Abbi Whelan representing Romanowski said after being dealt with in Germany and released he had travelled to the UK hoping to support his wife and three children by getting work.

“Unfortunately neither he nor his wife were able to find employment at the time and that was the motivation behind him committing these offences.”

Romanowski admitted three burglaries and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Jailing him Judge Rodney Jameson QC said that fortunately the victims in the first two offences were out but unhappily that was not the case in April when the occupier returned.

“When she tried to stop you taking her jewellery you assaulted her, punching her three or four times.” He accepted Romanowski was young but such offences had to receive an immediate jail term.