Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Cleaner denies £50m jewellery raid on Tamara Ecclestone's London mansion
28 February 2020, 16:13
A cleaner has denied plotting to steal £50 million in jewellery and cash from the home of heiress Tamara Ecclestone.
Maria Mester, 47, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and a charge of concealing criminal property when she appeared via videolink at Isleworth Crown Court.
Thieves raided £50million-worth of jewellery from Ms Ecclestone’s west London home in Palace Green, Kensington, on 13 December.
The court heard that most of it is still missing.
The alleged conspiracy is said to have taken place between 30 November 2019 and 1 February 2020, while the concealing criminal property charge dates back to 31 January.
A £300,000 pair of diamond earrings and a Louis Vuitton bag were among the haul which included currency, jewellery and watches estimated to a value of £50 million which were stolen.
The burglary happened just after Ms Ecclestone, the daughter of former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, went to Lapland for Christimas with her husband Jay Rutland and their daughter Sophia.
Police said in December they were called to the scene by security at the 55-room mansion, which is next to Hyde Park and was purchased by Ms Ecclestone for £45m in 2011, according to Forbes magazine.
The bar worker son of Mester, Emil-Bogdan Savastru, 29, of Bethnal Green, is also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, having custody or control of a counterfeit currency note, and attempting to remove criminal property.
Mester, a Romanian national and housemaid of no fixed abode in the UK, will face trial on 20 July, while Savastru will appear in custody for a preliminary hearing on 3 March.