Karate champ sentenced for knocking out woman during break-in

A Romanian karate and kickboxing champion has been sentenced to more than four years in jail for seriously injuring a woman during a burglary.The jury at a court in Graz heard yesterday (Tues) how the 30-year-old left his victim lying in a pool of blood in the summer of 2009. The man had gone into a bar in Graz and stole 380 Euros in cash when the woman suddenly entered the venue.The resident of Graz, who works as a nurse at a local hospital, had come to pick up some laundry from the night club for its owner, a friend of hers. The burglar – who has won several karate and kickboxing tournaments in his homeland – punched her in the face several times before fleeing the scene.”He could have just pushed me to the side and escape with the money. I think he wanted to kill me,” the woman – who had to undergo an eight-hour emergency surgery – told the jury. She suffered a brain haemorrhage and several broken bones in the attack.Prosecutors pressed attempted murder charges, but the jury sentenced the accused to four and a half years behind bars.The man was arrested around half a year after the incident. He was identified by crime site investigators thanks to DNA traces he left on a beer bottle he drank after taking the cash. The Romanian said in court he needed the money to travel home.The verdict is not yet legally binding since the defendant’s lawyer and the state prosecutor have decided to appeal it.