A JUDGE has praised two schoolboys after they tackled a burglar who broke into their home in the middle of the night.

Drunken Robert Marcisz smashed his way into the terraced house where the 15-year-old twins and a adult woman with them were staying.

After hearing the noise the boys came down the stairs and managed to overpower 42-year-old Marcisz, pinning him down until police arrived.

At Bolton Crown Court Recorder Charles Garside QC jailed the burglar for 340 days and commended the twins for their bravery.

He said: “It has to be said that the two boys in the house acted in a robust and effective way.

“In my view they should be commended for their actions on that night. What they did was entirely appropriate and efficiently led to the arrest of the defendant.”

Adam Watkins, prosecuting, told how the boys heard the sound of smashing glass outside their Daubhill house.

“They were scared. Their initial reaction and that of the family friend was to flee upstairs and hide,” he said.

Whilst upstairs they heard the sound of more smashing glass coming from below.

“In fear, but bravely, they decided they would have to step out and see what was taking place,” said Mr Watkins.

The boys went to the top of the stairs, turned on a light and saw a stranger, later identified as Marcisz, in the kitchen area at the foot of the staircase.

Marcisz was holding an umbrella with the end pointed towards the boys and stepped towards them.

The twins headed down the stairs towards him.

“He appeared to try to turn tail,” said Mr Watkins. “The two boys then pinned him to the floor.”

Police were called and Marcisz was arrested.

The court heard that the burglar had used the umbrella to smash his way into the house through a ground floor window from the back yard.

“It was apparent that the defendant was highly intoxicated,” said Mr Watkins, who added that Marcisz claimed he thought people inside the house were wanting to talk to him.

“This was anything but a sophisticated or thought-out offence of its type,” said Watkins.

Marcisz, who is originally from Hungary and not thought to have any previous convictions, pleaded guilty to burglary on the day his trial was due to start.

In a victim statement the boys said, on the night, they had been extremely scared.

“It is a continuing source of anxiety when they are at home late at night,” said Mr Watkins.

Martin Pizzey, defending, told the court that the Marcisz has been a victim himself, having been trafficked to the UK several years ago.

He was a prosecution witness in a modern slavery case but Mr Pizzey said that, after he was freed, he had struggled to cope, was homeless and had turned to drink.

“There has been very little stability in his life,” said Mr Pizzey.

“On the night in question he was wet and hungry. He accepts what he did was wrong.

“He expresses his regret and apologises for behaving in such a manner.”

Marcisz has been remanded in prison since the offence on September 30 last year and Recorder Garside concluded he has been punished enough and he should be released with suitable accommodation found for him.

He told Marcisz: “You realise, I am sure, that the burglary of people’s houses, particularly when they are in the house, is a very serious offence.

“I think you have been sufficiently punished.”