A burglar who targeted empty homes faces deportation after being locked up by a judge.
Rafal Lipiak was found inside a repossessed property in Marlborough Avenue, Spalding, by police officers investigating a report that squatters were living in the house.
Mark Watson, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, April 30 that Lipiak was found in possession of a bank card belonging to a previous occupant of the premises.
Lipiak was arrested and bailed but the following day was caught after breaking into a house in Station Road, Sleaford.
The occupants’ 16-year-old son was in the back garden with a friend when he noticed someone inside the house.
Mr Watson said: “This was a walk-in burglary. The defendant was with another man. The occupants’ son was in the back garden with a friend. Looking through the window he saw the defendant and another man walk through the front door.”
The burglars went into an adjoining garage and stole two bicycles which they rode away on. Police were called and the intruders were arrested the same day.
Lipiak was bailed to appear in court but went missing. He was arrested in March after an incident at an unoccupied bungalow in Balmoral Avenue, Spalding.
A neighbour spotted Lipiak climb through a broken window into the property and called police.
She stayed at the scene until officers arrived and was able to direct them to where Lipiak had gone.
Mr Watson said: “The police caught the defendant after he ran over back gardens. When he was caught he was bleeding from the broken window.”
Lipiak, 20, of no fixed address, admitted three charges of burglary and failing to answer to bail. He was sent to a young offenders’ institution for a total of 13 months.
Judge Simon Hirst told him: “Plainly this offending is so serious that only a sentence of immediate custody can be passed.”
Neil Sands, in mitigation, said Lipiak arrived in the UK eight months ago planning to find work so that he could send money back to his family in Poland.
“It has gone dramatically wrong for him and he found himself homeless. Work has been sporadic with too many people chasing too few jobs.
“He is aware that the court must pass a custodial sentence. He understands that half way through his sentence he will be deported and won’t be allowed back in the UK.”