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CRUEL CRIME: Abbots Langley cleaner steals sentimental jewellery and cash from woman recovering from cancer

 Published on: 23rd July 2021   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

An Abbots Langley cleaner who stole jewellery and cash belonging to a woman recovering from cancer was today (Friday, July 2) given a suspended sentence and told to carry out unpaid work.

Anna Kujawa, 37, helped herself to £2,350 in cash along with £25,000 worth of jewellery, some of which had belonged to the victim’s late mother and grandmother.

Prosecutor Syam Soni told St Albans Crown Court (pictured) that in November 2019, the woman was recovering from cancer and had just lost her mother. £5,000 cash and jewellery that had belonged to the victim’s mother and grandmother were being stored in a room that she offered to clean.

Mr Soni said after she noticed £2,350 was missing along with the jewellery, she messaged Kujawa telling her she knew what she had done.

“She said it had been captured on CCTV. That was a bluff, but it worked and she owned up to the theft,” said the prosecutor.

Kujawa returned nine pieces of jewellery to the victim and transferred £6,000 to her.

But not all the items were recovered. She had taken some to a pawn broker who had given her £780, which was a “significant undervalue,” said Mr Soni.

In a personal statement, the victim said she felt “preyed upon” at a time when she was recovering from cancer and had just lost her mother.

In July 2019, Kujawa had also stolen a £25 Amazon voucher that had been given as a present to another man whose home she cleaned.

Kujawa, of High Acres, Abbots Langley, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of theft by employee.

Defending, Jay Nutkins said the single mother of two had a difficult childhood in Poland.

He said she had shown “genuine remorse”, made full admissions to the police and an immediate repayment of £6,000, having borrowed money from her former partner and a bank.

He said she was of previous good character and asked the judge to suspend the sentence.

Judge Stephen Warner agreed and passed an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 21 months. She must complete 180 hours’ unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation days and go on a 12-month mental health treatment programme.

He told her: “Nobody can put a price on an item of jewellery inherited from loved family members.

“To your credit, you owned up straight away and returned the pieces, but these were mean offences involving a breach of trust on two separate victims.

“You took advantage of unsupervised access to their homes.”

He said she had come close to going straight to prison, but he added the “thoroughly dishonest offending” was out of character and said she had shown remorse and repaid some of what she had taken.


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