Watch dealer hangs himself in woods day after London jewellers was robbed in '£2.8m raid', inquest told

4 June 2024, 17:48 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 18:55

A 27-year-old watch seller handed himself in a 'wooded area' the day after two men robbed the dealership in a £2.8m robbery, an inquest has heard.
A 27-year-old watch seller handed himself in a 'wooded area' the day after two men robbed the dealership in a £2.8m robbery, an inquest has heard. Picture: Police/Instagram

By Christian Oliver

A 27-year-old watch seller hanged himself in a 'wooded area' the day after two men robbed the dealership in a £2.8m robbery, an inquest has heard.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Oliver White was working at 247 Kettles in Richmond, southwest London, on May 25 when two thieves entered the shop "posing as customers".

Shocking footage showed one of the robbers restraining Mr White and placing his arms around his neck while his accomplice pocketed the expensive luxury watches.

A post-mortem found that Mr White killed himself the next day and died from suspension, Surrey Coroner's Court heard Monday. He was pronounced dead on May 26 at 9.59pm after his body was discovered in a "wooded area" in Shepperton, Surrey.

Confirming Mr White's stepfather had identified Mr White's body, Coroner Simon Wickens said: "He confirms he had known Oliver for 19 years and saw him after he had died at the aforementioned woodland area on the 26 May."

The watch firm said Mr White should 'never have been left alone'
The watch firm said Mr White should 'never have been left alone'. Picture: Instagram

Read More: Last of D-Day veterans arrive in France to mark 80th anniversary of Normandy landings and pay tribute to fallen friends

Read More: He’s not lovin' it: Moment Nigel Farage has McDonald’s milkshake thrown into his face while campaigning in Clacton

He confirmed the post-mortem was carried out on May 30 and said an inquest has been requested due to the unnatural nature of the death. Mr White's body has been returned to the family, however.

The inquest has been adjourned and a full inquest will take place at a later date.

247 Kettles posed a statement on Instagram after Mr White's death. It read: "The suspects targeted our store posing as potential clients across a three day period waiting for a vulnerability and the correct time to strike. Unfortunately on Saturday the attempt succeeded in a violent robbery which Oliver was the victim of.

"We have strict security procedures to prevent such circumstances', but 'through no fault of anyone's' they were not followed during the 'tragic event'," the statement added.

"Oliver had an incredible work ethic and a passion for pleasing customers. He liked to work around the clock and even out of hours to ensure customers were satisfied.

"He should never have been alone in the office on Saturday and that amount of watches should’ve never been on display. We have strict security procedures to prevent such circumstances."

The firm also revealed that the two men being hunted over the violent robbery had posed as potential clients over three days before they carried out the robbery and attack on Mr White.

“The suspects targeted our store posing as potential clients across a three day period waiting for a vulnerability and the correct time to strike. Unfortunately on Saturday the attempt succeeded in a violent robbery which Oliver was the victim of,” the statement continued.

“We would appreciate if false rumours could be stopped to allow both friends and family to grieve without additional stress and intrusion.

“As a business we will remain closed temporarily to grieve the loss of our friend. Any messages / requests will be picked up upon our return. Our thoughts are with all of Oliver’s family at this time.”

Alana Dredge posted tributes on Instagram after her partner Oliver White died
Alana Dredge posted tributes on Instagram after her partner Oliver White died. Picture: Instagram

His family said in a statement last week that they believe their son took his own life due to the “anguish and distress” the incident caused him.

In a statement released through the police, his parents said: "He had been the victim of a terrifying attack and high value robbery at his place of work, which was later shared widely on social media.

“Sadly, it is our belief that Oliver subsequently took his own life due to the anguish and distress of this terrible incident.

“As a family we are devastated by the loss of our beautiful, funny, loyal boy, who lit up every room he walked into.

“We are desperately trying to make sense and come to terms with this tragic incident and plead that we are given the privacy to grieve without additional stress and intrusion into our lives.”

It comes after the Met said a man and woman, both in their 30s, had been arrested in connection with the robbery. The woman has since been released under investigation.

The man, arrested on Wednesday last week, has been bailed pending further inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Scott Mather said: "First and foremost, our thoughts remain with Mr White's family and friends at this unimaginably difficult time.

"We would ask that they are given the privacy they need to grieve.

"We are working tirelessly to get them the answers they need and are making good progress with our investigation.

"We urge anyone who has information that could assist us to get in touch as soon as possible.

"The images we have provided are good quality and someone must recognise the men we need to speak to. If you don't want to contact police, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously."

In the images, one man wears a grey hoodie while the other wears a black and white T-shirt with sunglasses on his head.

The force asked anyone with information to call 101, quoting incident number CAD4555/25May, or to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Those feeling distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Live
The Tories hope to catch out Labour on tax.

General Election LIVE: Tories attack on tax, Starmer to answer your questions on LBC

Jeremy Hunt was made Chancellor by Liz Truss

Jeremy Hunt says he is ‘trying to achieve the same things as Liz Truss’ and ‘denies long-term effects of mini-budget’

Drink-driving limits in England are set at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Doctors call for drink-drive limit to be cut to one beer or single glass of wine as BMA launches campaign

Phillips headshot

Mystery of 'Bushman' dad-of-three who went missing with children - before robbing bank at gunpoint

The PM accused Sir Keir of trying to "entrench his power" by lowering the voting age

Rishi Sunak accuses Keir Starmer of only wanting to lower voting age to 'entrench his power'

Pressure signals could be used to locate the missing plane

Major breakthrough in MH370 mystery as nuclear sensor picks up crucial sound

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'in good spirits' and expected to make 'speedy and full recovery' after falling off stage

Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen rushed to hospital after falling off stage during West End performance

Dario G star Paul Spencer

Dario G star Paul Spencer dies aged 53 following cancer diagnosis

Reform chairman Richard Tice was speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr.

'Take them back to France': Reform will have 'standoff' with French over illegal migrants if needed, says Richard Tice

The teen was helping cut the tree down as a summer job.

Pictured: Boy, 16, crushed by 30ft tree just a day after finishing final GCSE exam - as three arrested

Police hunt 21-year-old man following death of boy, 12 in shocking hit-and-run

Manhunt for Coventry hit-and-run suspect continues following death of boy, 12, as police urge public to 'do the right thing'

Parts of the UK face severe rainfall next week, dramatic weather maps suggest

Thunderstorms set to drench Britain with 10 days worth of rain failing in just three hours

Fury erupted after the cow was rammed by a police car

Let us not be hypocrites when we look at the shocking case of the runaway cow

'I didn't expect to die today': Heartbreaking film hopes to keep teenagers out of open water danger

'I didn't expect to die today': Heartbreaking film hopes to keep teenagers out of open water danger