Having had his wife taken by illness, on the anniversary of her death a husband found a burglar had stolen her jewellery.
Melap Singh returned to his home in Kingsley Road, Cotham, and discovered an array of precious items had been grabbed by an intruder.
It was one of two daytime break-ins committed by Brett Sullivan after his life spiralled downhill following a relationship breakdown, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Sullivan, 36, of St Barnabas Close in Bristol, pleaded guilty to two burglaries in March.
Judge Julian Lambert jailed him for three years.
He told Sullivan: “People have had their homes defiled, there’s no other way of putting it.”
Sullivan listened via video link from HMP Cardiff as sentencing was imposed.
Lucie Stoker, prosecuting, said Sullivan ransacked a home in Wells Road and helped himself to an array of items.
They included: a computer game and controller, laptop computers, TV box, computer tablet, digital camera, watch, jewellery, training shoes still boxed, ear phones and hair clippers.
Sullivan was identified via DNA from his blood left at the scene.
Householder Elizabeth Smith made an impact statement in which she said: “We no longer feel safe in our own home, waking at numerous times in the night and checking windows and doors.
“There was total destruction, every room was turned upside down.”
Mrs Smith said the burglary had left the householder very anxious and reluctant to leave their home.
She had a specific message for the burglar, telling him: “What you do destroys people’s homes.”
The court heard Mr Singh returned from his temple, the day before the second anniversary of his wife’s death, to find his home had been entered.
This time Sullivan had grabbed Mrs Singh’s jewellery, including rings, a gold band, necklace, earrings and bangles.
Police found Sullivan’s DNA on a partially eaten sweet at the scene.
Sullivan had 72 previous offences including three domestic burglaries.
John Stokes, defending, said a relationship split caused his client’s life to take a downward turn.
After losing his job and flat Sullivan, in his own words, “wasn’t with it” and was taking crack cocaine, the court heard.
Mr Stokes said his client had developed health problems from drug use.