Sonja Lazic screamed at burglar David Francis and threatened him with a shard of glass (Pictures: Wales News Service)
A single mum who acted like a ‘lioness’ to protect her daughter during a break-in at their home has been praised by a judge and given a £500 reward for her ‘extreme bravery’.
Sonja Lazic, 41, screamed at burglar David Francis, 38, and threatened him with a shard of glass during the terrifying raid in Newport shortly before 6am on March 7, 2020.
Francis fled empty-handed but was arrested when police found his DNA inside the flat. Ms Lazic later picked him out in an ID parade.
The mum-of-two, who fled war-torn Bosnia in the 1990s and settled in Newport South Wales, described initially feeling ‘paralysed with fear’ before she sprung into action.
Francis, from Newport, denied attempted burglary but was found guilty at the city’s crown court and jailed for seven years.
Judge Richard Williams told him: ‘You and another man scaled a roof in order to gain entry into Sonja’s Lazic flat in Newport. The method of entry was to smash a kitchen window.
‘Sonja Lazic was in bed, but on hearing the noise ran into her kitchen to investigate. She screamed at you and you left the premises, and she decided to comfort her daughter.
‘But you and that other man returned and removed the remaining smashed glass in the kitchen window and reached inside.
Ms Lazic was praised for her ‘extreme bravery’ (Picture: Crisp&Fry/Wales News Service)
David Francis was jailed for seven years (Picture: Crisp&Fry/Wales News Service)
‘Sonja Lazic again reacted by running into the kitchen. She picked up a shard of glass from that window and threatened you.
‘She describes that you were howling and also that you stared at her for a time before you eventually left.
‘These offences have had devastating effects on the two victims and they received cuts from broken glass in the kitchen.
‘It has aggravated Sonja Lazic’s pre-existing post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting from her experience of trauma in Bosnia.
‘She has the heart of a lioness and was extremely brave doing what she did.’
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