A BURGLAR given a caution by police before the Essex chief constable stepped in to have him charged has been jailed.

Ireneusz Blaszczyk caused "enormous distress" after he broke into the home of a pregnant woman in Galleywood.

During a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, the 24-year-old was sentenced to nine months in prison.

He was caught and cautioned by police but when homowner Monique Cable found out about the caution, she complained.

The Chief Constable at the time, Jim Barker-McCardle disclosed after the caution had been given he had referred three officers to the force's professional standards department and look into the possibility of a proescution.

Blaszczyk was later charged with burglary and when he appeared in court he admitted breaking into the house in Pyms Road, Galleywood.

Judge Christopher Ball QC told Blaszczyk: "The harm is incalculable - the horror of coming back to find their home violated will live with that couple for a very long time.

"We will not accept violation of people's homes and you have caused enormous distress to that couple going far beyond the loss of property.

"You stole items that were valuable and sentimental and escaped unnoticed after they'd arrived back."

Blaszczyk, of Barton Drive, Chelmsford, broke into the home of Monique Cable and her partner David on November 25, 2012, the court heard.

At the time, she was seven to eight weeks pregnant but later suffered "tragic" consequences, prosecutor Mark Lakin said.

Electrical items, cash and jewellery worth about £5,000 were stole by Blaszczyk in an "untidy" search of the house but he was traced from DNA on part of a latex glove found at the scene, the court heard.

Mr Lakin said: "She will forever link this with the tragic consequences she suffered - the memories of this will always be with her."

Among items taken were gold and diamond earrings "some handed-down through the family," Mr Lakin added.

Blaszczyk told police he "couldn't afford to pay his rent" and sold what he stole for £200.

Geoffrey Porter, mitigating, said Blaszczyk had been "walking around the area having decided to commit burglary but it was an opportunistic offence and he expresses remorse."