A detective has warned criminals they have nowhere to hide after a Polish national who used different aliases was jailed after assaulting a woman in her home as he was committing a burglary.
Aleksander Romanowski, 20, also known as Krystian Romanowski, was given a four-year sentence over the attack on the 62-year-old at her home on Rawdon Road, Horsforth.
The violent offender left a tell-tale spot of blood at the scene of the attack, on April 9 this year, but West Yorkshire Police found no match on their data base.
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 to Poland and Germany where he has 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.
Det Insp Neil Thompson, of Leeds CID, said: “This shows that criminals have no where 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 it was her son.
She 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 Romanowski also broke into a house in Huddersfield and one in Dewsbury on February 14.
He used a rock to smash a glass door in both those offences.
He stole jewellery of high sentimental value belonging to a 69-year-old woman from the house in Dewsbury.
After the case, the victim told the YEP: “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.
“It was quite nerve racking to start with.”