In the Media

Discrimination is no excuse to commit burglary, judge tells gypsy

PUBLISHED March 29, 2012

Viorel Dumitrascu, 43, a Roma gypsy who was convicted of rape in Romania, has now been jailed for breaking into six homes in a single day.

He admitted targeting elderly residents in Crewe, Cheshire on Jan 25 at Chester Crown Court. He previously served seven years in a Romanian jail for rape, five years for robbery and three for aggravated larceny.

Dumitrascu, a father-of-three from Birmingham, stole jewellery, laptops, digital cameras and items of sentimental value from six elderly victims in the town.

In one case Dumitrascu stole around £1,200 worth of jewellery from the room of an 80-year-old woman at a Crewe care home. He also targeted addresses in Wells Avenue, Wrexham Road and Vine Tree Avenue, smashing windows to gain access to the properties.

The court heard how all properties were empty at the time.

Dumitrascu, who also has five previous convictions for seven offences of dishonesty in this country, was arrested on the M6 later that day on his way back home to Birmingham.

Defending, Andrew Fitzpatrick said: "He (Dumitrascu) faces the difficulties a Roma gypsy when travelling around Europe."

However, Judge David Hale rejected that claim and said: "I don't like that at all. It is no excuse to go and burgle people's houses."

Mr Fitzpatrick added: "It is an inappropriate way to provide for your family. The jewellery has been returned. He wants to stay in this country."

Sentencing him to 32 months in jail, for which he will serve just half, Judge Hale added: "Burglary is very serious in this country and I suspect it is in Romania too.

"You wouldn't want your parent's home rifled through. These were quite deliberate offences and your culpability is high."

Speaking after the sentencing, DS Andy Mcgillan, from the Crewe burglary team, said: "This is a great result for the team who worked hard to bring a file of evidence to court that would prove his guilt.

"All of the houses were unoccupied but secure at the time and when the occupants came home discovered they had been broken into and numerous items, some of which were sentimental, were missing causing them great distress.

"Being able to reassure the victims that the person who violated their homes is behind bars is very satisfying and part of the reason why we do this job."