Burglar who stole NHS worker's engagement ring is jailed

Thomas Pawlak was jailed for 34 months at Ipswich Crown Court after committing a burglary

Thomas Pawlak was jailed for 34 months at Ipswich Crown Court after committing a burglary - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

A homeless man who stole a hospital worker’s engagement ring during a burglary at her Bury St Edmunds home has been jailed for 34 months.

Sentencing Thomas Pawlak, Judge Rupert Overbury said he had burgled the home of a hospital worker in the middle of a pandemic although he accepted he hadn’t deliberately targeted the victim.

He said Pawlak had two previous convictions for house burglaries and was therefore facing a mandatory three-year minimum sentence less credit for his guilty plea.

Judge Overbury read out an impact statement from the victim in which she described her hurt at her engagement ring being stolen.

She also described how she was left without any money to buy food or petrol for a week while she sorted out new bank cards and now felt uncomfortable leaving her home.

“The whole incident has left me feeling very sad. What a horrible world we live in,” said the victim.

Pawlak was visiting his mother in breach of a restraining order at her home in St Edmunds Place sheltered housing when he entered a neighbour’s property while she was doing her laundry.

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Pawlek stole the woman’s engagement ring and her wallet containing £26 cash, a driving licence and bank cards.

He had then used the bank cards on 11 occasions to obtain goods to the value of £277 and had also unsuccessfully attempted to use the cards on six occasions to obtain goods worth £120.

The court heard that although Pawlek was banned from visiting his mother’s home by a restraining order made in September this year she hadn’t objected to him being there.

Pawlak, 34, of no fixed address, admitted breach of a restraining order, burglary and fraud. The offences took place between November 16 and December 2 this year,

Declan Gallagher for Pawlak said his client was homeless at the time of the offences and had long term problems with alcohol.

He said Pawlak’s mother used a mobility scooter and he had been doing his best to assist her.