Monday, February 09, 2009

Three years for Polish burglar who 'violated' home

A burglar was jailed for three years today after a judge told him he had violated a woman's home while she was on holiday.

Evanthea Pelopidou returned home from a break in Cyprus in July last year to find her house had been ransacked by burglars who stole nearly ?30,000 of property.

Old Bailey Judge Timothy Pontius told Christophe Muszynski that he was taking a tough stand following a recent judgment by the Lord Chief Justice.

Judge Pontius said papers served on Muszynski meant he would be deported to Poland after serving his sentence.

He said: "It does not take much imagination to understand how disturbing a burglary can be.

"It is not just the taking of items, it is the fact that a home has been violated.

"Damage was done and the property subjected to a thorough ransacking.

"The owner told police the house was in a terrible state."

The court was told that the burglar alarm had been tampered with while the contents of drawers were strewn around.

The burglars had thrown chocolate wrappers and empty beer bottles onto furniture and urine had been left in the toilet.

Mrs Pelopidou's daughter told police she could not get into the rooms upstairs because of the mess.

Muszynski, 24, of Walthamstow, east London, was found guilty of burglary last month after the jury was told his fingerprints were found at the house Edmonton, north London.

Muszynski had previous convictions and was on bail for other matters at the time of the break-in during which jewellery and electronic items were taken.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, last week said burglars must expect tougher sentences for violating homes.

Lord Judge said: "There is a long-standing, almost intuitive belief that our homes should be our castles."

He issued formal guidance for all courts in England and Wales calling for a robust approach to domestic break-ins.