BRITAIN’S BIGGEST BURGLARY: Socialite left ‘scared’ after home ransacked in Britain’s biggest burglary
BRITAINS BIGGEST BURGLARY: Socialite Tamara Ecclestone has said she was left scared and “obsessing over security” after her Kensington mansion was ransacked of £25 million worth of cash, jewellery and gems in Britain’s biggest ever burglary.
Italian nationals Jugoslav Jovanovic, 24, Alessandro Maltese, 45, and Alessandro Donati, 44, are facing jail on Monday after admitting three raids in west London over just 13 days in December 2019.
The victims included former Chelsea FC midfielder and manager Frank Lampard, 43, and his 42-year-old wife, television presenter Christine Lampard, the late Leicester City FC owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and Ms Ecclestone, 37.
She was on holiday in Lapland with her husband, art gallery owner Jay Rutland, 38, their daughter and their dog when hundreds of items were stolen from their mansion in Palace Green, Kensington, in what is believed to have been the highest-value burglary ever in the UK.
In a victim impact statement read at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, Ms Ecclestone, the daughter of ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, said: “It’s been really awful. I’m so scared, I will not leave my daughter alone in the house at night, because I just feel like the people I am meant to trust, I don’t, I’m not sure that I can trust anyone. I have just been so scared.”
Ms Ecclestone said the loss of gifts from her parents, including a wedding present from her mother, “made me really sad”, adding: “A lot of it was really personal, I wanted to give some of the items to my daughter one day.”
“It hasn’t been easy but I guess now it just makes me think, what if, if something worse… It has got me thinking all different kinds of things, and I’m now obsessing over security, the gates and barbed wires, spikes and stuff and it’s not really how I want to live my life.”
Her husband, Mr Rutland, said Ms Ecclestone was petrified to go out or leave their daughter, who talks about the break-in.
“She asks me and Tamara if the burglars are coming back,” he said. “I feel a whole combination of emotions: anger that they have stolen from us, fear that they could come back and sadness that sentimental pieces of jewellery which were gifts at our wedding or at the birth of our daughter were stolen that cannot be replaced.”
The family of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha said their “sacred and special connection” to the late Leicester City FC owner “has been damaged and violated beyond repair” after his home was burgled of around £1 million worth of cash and watches.
The property, in Knightsbridge, west London, had been turned into a shrine following his death, aged 60, in a helicopter crash shortly after take-off from the King Power Stadium on October 27 2018.
A victim impact statement on behalf of his family said: “Our late father’s residence was a place for reflection and to pray.
“We felt it was the strongest connection to him as he spent his last night there before his death. Since the burglary, our sacred and special connection has been damaged and violated beyond repair.”
The Lampards had around £60,000 in watches and jewellery stolen while they were out of their Chelsea property on December 1.
Mr Lampard said the crime had had a “major impact” on his general feeling of security, adding: “The fact that my job means I travel frequently again raises my concerns.
“Neither Christine nor I are sleeping too well as a consequence of this incident,” he said. “I would add that while I have been an unfortunate victim of a crime previously, particularly burglary, this incident has had a far greater impact on our lives.”
His wife added: “Since this break-in at my house, I am much more fearful of being alone in my own home, I am less trusting of visitors to the house and feel unsafe in my home.
“I have a young daughter and feel vulnerable in a home which I had previously always felt safe and happy in. I have struggled to sleep sometimes since the incident as I am sensitive to any noise from outside, fearing another attack.”
Jovanovic, Maltese and Donati were extradited from Italy and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle between November 29 and December 18 2019 over the three raids.
Jovanovic also admitted conspiracy to commit money laundering between December 10 2019 and January 31 last year, and one count of attempting to convert criminal property.
They will be sentenced by Judge Martin Edmunds QC later on Monday.
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