Celebrity house raids bound to be Hollywood film

Celebrity house raids bound to be Hollywood film

A £26m raid on the luxury homes of three celebrities is bound to become a Hollywood movie, a court has heard.

Watches and jewellery belonging to the football boss Frank Lampard, heiress Tamara Ecclestone and the family of tycoon Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha were among the items taken last December.

Prosecutor Tim Cray QC said the team of burglars needed “back-up”.

Maria Mester, Emil Bogdan Savastru, Alexandru Stan and Sorin Marcovici deny conspiracy to burgle.

In his closing speech, Mr Cray said the burglary trial had received “a lot of media attention” and would be likely to be turned into a film. He suggested it might be called “Fat Geese and Stupid Chickens”.

He told jurors: “I don’t think it is too imaginative that one day the events we have all been with are going to be turned into a movie. All the good stories are.

“I would quite like to be played by Liam Neeson – ‘I will find you and I will convict you’,” he said in reference to the towering actor’s famous line in the film Taken.

Mr Cray reminded jurors that the home of the Chelsea manager and his wife Christine Lampard was the first to be raided on 1 December.

A diamond watch, cufflinks and a clock worth a total of about £60,000 were taken, the court heard.

Then on 10 December, a Knightsbridge property belonging to the Srivaddhanaprabha family was targeted. It was billionaire Leicester City owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s home before his death in a helicopter crash in October 2018.

This time, 400,000 euros in cash was taken, as well as expensive watches, jurors were told.

The final burglary, on the palatial home near Kensington Palace that socialite Ms Ecclestone shares with her husband Jay Rutland, saw about £25m worth of valuables stolen.

Mr Cray said that the four burglars, who cannot be named for legal reasons, needed four things: “transport, back-up, a base and help getting the loot out of the country”.

The prosecutor said the four defendants were the “support cast” to the burglars.

He added: “In all the crime movies there’s a black screen and you get the writing.

“‘Alexandru Stan, Maria Mester, Sorin Marcovici and Emil Bogdan Savastru were tried later that year by a jury in Isleworth’ – and you’re going to get to write the next screen as to what happens to them.

“We say there certainly were fat geese in this case – they don’t come much fatter than the Ecclestones – but these chickens were very far from stupid and were more than prepared to strip flesh from the geese.”

The trial continues.

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