An elderly Mansfield woman died before she could see the man who broke into her home jailed.
Robert Dmochowski entered the 90-year-old widow’s home in the Rock Hill area between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day last year (24 to 26th December 2013).
The 31-year-old, of no fixed address, smashed a side window to the house while the victim was away with family for Christmas. He rifled through her belongings and stole cash she had saved to pay for her funeral, a TV and jewellery, some of which belonged to her late husband.
DNA left at the scene pointed to Dmochowski and extensive efforts were made to locate him.
On Monday 3rd March 2014 he stole food from a shop in Hyson Green and spat at the shopkeeper. He was arrested and charged in connection with this incident and the burglary.
At a previous hearing Dmochowski pleaded guilty to burglary.
He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court to 15 months in jail and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.
The sentence was in addition to the ten weeks imprisonment he had already received for admitting the incident at the shop.
The woman whose house Dmochowski burgled died last month.
Detective Constable Andre Bak said: “While nothing could categorically link the burglary to the woman’s subsequent death her relatives reported that her health deteriorated after the intrusion.
“She was a feisty, independent woman who was prepared to attend court if required. While she lived to hear we had arrested Dmochowski she did not see him jailed.
“Our thoughts are with her family. I hope today’s outcome gives them some sense of closure as they continue to grieve their loss.”
The woman’s stolen belongings have yet to be recovered. The jewellery included an inscribed gold ladies wrist watch, an inscribed gold pocket watch with a gold pocket chain, an engagement ring, featuring three small diamonds, a gold ring with a square design and a black stone at its centre, and two commemorative Winston Churchill coins.
If you have seen the jewellery or know of its whereabouts contact police or call Crimestoppers anonymously.