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Mother-of-nine traded elderly neighbour's jewels worth £15,000
A mother-of-nine has been jailed for pawning valuable rings sneaked out of the home of a 76-year-old neighbour who befriended her family.
A judge told Wioletta Szulc that people who preyed on the elderly would end up behind bars.
Szulc, a 42-year-old Polish national, was convicted after a trial at Bradford Crown Court last month of two offences of dishonestly handling five stolen rings, worth at least £15,000, and two of fraudulently pawning them.
Judge Robert Bartfield yesterday locked her up for nine months, saying said she had lied to the police, the jury and her probation officer. She claimed she did not recognise the jewellery, although the elderly woman whose trust she betrayed had shown the rings to her.
Szulc, of Dalby Avenue, Bradford Moor, committed the offences at a previous address in Bradford, when she lived next door to her victim.
Prosecutor John Boumphrey said that a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named, sneaked upstairs and stole the rings while the elderly woman was hosting a social afternoon at her home on August 19 last year. The next day, Szulc pawned the emerald and diamond ring and diamond cluster ring at Ramsden’s Financial for £1,100.
Four days later, the same youth stole a further three rings while Szulc was giving the elderly woman a massage.
They were pawned at another shop, with Szulc pocketing £500.
Mr Boumphrey said the victim got all her rings back, thanks to another neighbour, Dariusz Pawlowski, who helped to trace them back to the pawn shops.
Judge Bartfield ordered that a letter be sent to Mr Pawlowski, expressing gratitude on behalf of the community and awarding him £500.
Szulc’s barrister, Nigel Hamilton, said she had not had an easy life.
She had no previous convictions and six of her children still lived with her, the youngest being two years old.
The 17-year-old burglar was given a police final warning.
“As far as I am concerned, anybody who burgles the house of an elderly person should come before the courts and the leniency shown to him will not help you,” Judge Bartfield told Szulc.
He said she acted out of pure greed when she betrayed the trust of a woman who was good and kind to her family.