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Citizen Weekly

Thursday 23 October 2014


An elderly couple returned from holiday to find a “Goldilocks” burglar asleep in their bed.
Lukasz Chojnowski, 28, broke in and spent two days treating their house as his own.
He enjoyed a perfumed bubble bath, cooked himself dinner and even tidied the home of Pat Dyson, 73, and her partner Martin Holtby, 78.
The pair returned to find a chicken fillet and pasta dinner had been prepared, dinner plates, post and newspapers had been neatly stacked and his socks and underwear were hanging out to dry.
In their bedroom they found their unexpected guest happily snoozing.
Mr Holtby exclaimed: “There is someone sleeping in our bed and he is still here.”
Chojnowski eventually awoke to find the couple and a policewoman peering at him.
He later claimed he had been evicted from his regular lodgings and thought the couple’s terraced house was “derelict”.
At Burnley Crown Court, Lancs, Chojnowski, an upholsterer admitted burglary and theft.
The court heard he broke in last July after retired couple left their home in Nelson for a sightseeing trip.
Laura Heywood, solicitor for Chojnowski, said: “The defendant chose the house because he initially thought it was empty.
"He said the garden was overgrown and he entered. At that point, he must have known somebody was residing there. He stayed there for two days, hoping the owners wouldn’t return, out of necessity, because he didn’t have anywhere else to stay.”
Prosecutor Tim Ashmole said when the couple returned they went into the kitchen and found bags of pasta, processed cheese and the chicken fillets on the worktops.
Mr Ashmole said: “Mr Holtby went upstairs and his partner heard him say: 'What are you doing? Get out, get up.'
The prosecutor added: “In short, the defendant was making himself very much at home in their address.
"It’s quite an extraordinary state of affairs to come across.
“The Crown’s case is he just took pot luck, hoping that nobody would come back in the immediate future.
"He looked though some jewellery boxes, but he did not take anything. He was using the home as a cosy little hideaway.”
Chojnowski, now of Bury, was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200 costs.
The judge Mr Recorder Raymond Herman said: “It would appear you entered this property not with any deep intent to be dishonest, but simply as somewhere to live and probably hide for some days.
"You were looking for somewhere to live in some sort of desperation.
“It’s right to say Mrs Dyson and Mr Holtby are at pains to ensure the court understands that they feel you left the house in a neat and tidy condition and from that I infer they feel some sympathy for you.”
After the case Mrs Dyson said: “The post and papers were neatly stacked in a pile and there were plates neatly stacked on the draining board and he had obviously made himself dinner.
"I was calling police when Martin said ‘Pat - there is someone sleeping in our bed and he’s still here.’
"It was just like something out of Goldilocks.
“We prodded him to wake him up but he just moaned and went deeper into the covers.
"As I walked back to go downstairs I noticed there was water in the bath and the towels had been left on the floor all wet.
"I also noticed he had done his washing. He had put the airer up and put his smalls and t-shirts out to dry.”

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