A detective has warned criminals that they have nowhere to hide after a Polish national who used different aliases was jailed after assaulting a 62-year-old woman in her home as he committed a burglary.
Aleksander Romanowski, 20, also known as Krystian Romanowski, was given a four-year sentence over the attack on the woman at her home in Rawdon Road, Horsforth, Leeds.
Romanowski pleaded guilty to three offences of burglary and one of assault.
The violent offender left a tell-tale spot of blood at the scene of the attack, which happenend on April 9, this year, but West Yorkshire Police forensic officers found no match for it on its database.
Detectives then took advantage of an international agreement and sent a DNA profile to Interpol and the National Crime Agency who forwarded the evidence to international police forces.
The searches turned up a match in Poland and Germany where Romanowski had previously offended.
German officers were able to supply a photo of Romanowski which was used to track him down to Bradford and bring him to justice.
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds CID, said: “The assault against a woman in her 60s in her own home was a callous example of the lengths Romanowski was prepared to go to commit crime but thanks to the hard work of detectives it proved to be his undoing.
“This shows that criminals have nowhere to hide and that we will go to all lengths possible to track people down and bring them to justice.
“It is also an excellent example of us working together – both with other British organisations – and foreign bodies thousands of miles away.
“Romanowski now has time in prison to consider the consequences of his actions.”
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how the victim returned home to find a glass door had been smashed.
She heard footsteps upstairs and initially thought that it was her son.
The woman went into her bedroom and saw Romanowski on the floor, kneeling over a jewellery box.
Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said: “He immediately stood up and made his way towards her and punched her in the face with a clenched fist.”
The woman fell backwards but Romanowski continued the attack, punching her two or three more times in the face.
Miss Pryke said the attack victim suffered from anxiety and was now fearful of returning to an empty home.
The court heard that Romanowski also broke into a house in Huddersfield and one in Dewsbury on February 14, using a rock to smash a glass door in both offences.
He stole jewellery of great sentimental value belonging to a 69-year-old woman from the house in Dewsbury.
Abbi Whelan, mitigating, said father-of-three Romanowski came to live in the UK with his wife last year but had struggled to find a job.
He said the offences were committed in order to provide for his family.
After the case, the victim of the attack said: “It was part disbelief and part anger that someone was breaking in.
“He just flew at me and punched me in the face. It took a few weeks to get over it.”