Leeds & West Yorkshire

Thief stole ring from victim as she lay in Bradford hospital

Robert Ziga
Image caption Ziga had been wandering wards at Bradford Royal Infirmary when he came across Mrs Brown

A thief who ripped the engagement ring from an elderly woman's finger as she lay in a hospital ward has been jailed.

Robert Ziga, 29, took the jewellery from 75-year-old Christine Brown in Bradford Royal Infirmary while she was recovering from a stroke.

Ziga, of Manningham, Bradford, was jailed for five years and four months after admitting robbery at Bradford Crown Court.

The court heard Mrs Brown had worn the ring for 52 years.

'Displayed greed'

Judge Robert Bartfield heard Ziga had been wandering around the wards searching for things to steal.

Nurses were alerted by Mrs Brown's screams.

He fled after the robbery, but was caught later and told police where to find the ring so it was returned.

Det Con Richard Oxley, of Bradford South CID, said: "This was a heartless and despicable act committed against an elderly patient at her most vulnerable.

"Ziga displayed greed, when most would have shown compassion, inflicting only further strain on his victim's health."

"The sheer audacity of Ziga's actions have clearly been recognised by the courts."

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