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Romanian suspect ‘wore jewellery’ from £25m Tamara Ecclestone raid

A jury has been shown a photo of a Romanian prostitute wearing a gold necklace allegedly stolen in the £25million gems raid at Tamara Ecclestone’s mansion.

Maria Mester, 47, is accused of being one of the ‘support team’ for the burglars who had travelled from Italy to break into celebrities’ homes last December.

She and her barman son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at the F1 heiress’ £70million mansion near Hyde Park.

In a transcript of a police interview read at Isleworth Crown Court, Mester told officers that she had ‘f*** all’ to do with the raid. 

The court has previously heard that the Romanian was arrested at Stansted Airport wearing a pair of stolen earrings on January 31.

Jurors have also been shown a picture of Mester she uploaded to Facebook which shows her wearing a necklace allegedly stolen from Ms Ecclestone. 

Savastru was caught in possession of a Tag Heuer watch and Louis Vuitton bag, similar to one taken in the raid, and was planning to board a flight to Japan, it is claimed.

Mester and Savastru, along with security worker Sorin Marcovici, 53, and Alexandru Stan, 49, all deny involvement in the raids.

Maria Mester, 47, is accused of being one of the ‘support team’ for the burglars who had travelled from Italy to break into the celebrities’ homes last December. Pictured, Mester wearing a rainbow coloured gold necklace allegedly stolen from Tamara Ecclestone

Burglars stole jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, pictured with husband Jay Rutland

Burglars stole jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, pictured with husband Jay Rutland

In a police interview Mester asked if a detective was out of his mind when told her son was captured on CCTV with the alleged burglars.

In the transcript read to the court, DC Glen Peach said: ‘They shake hands, 18 to 50 million pounds worth of jewellery was stolen.

‘They then go back to TLK apartments, they then move to (15) Furness Road, Fulham.

‘Can you tell me why you are on CCTV talking to the man who goes on to burgle £50m in jewellery and then later you’re on the same plane back to Italy?’

She answered ‘no comment’.

Asked why she was wearing £66,000 earrings stolen from Ms Ecclestone’s address she said ‘I don’t have them from London’. 

The heist at Ms Ecclestone's house (above) took place on 'Billionaire's Row' in Kensington

The heist at Ms Ecclestone’s house (above) took place on ‘Billionaire’s Row’ in Kensington

Mester and her son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at her £70million mansion near Hyde Park

Mester and her son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 30, were filmed on CCTV with the alleged raiders in the days before and after the Ecclestone raid at her £70million mansion near Hyde Park 

‘If I had stolen £50m, would I have come back to England?’ she added.

‘Yes, to facilitate with the selling of it,’ said DC Peach.

Mester said: ‘I know what you want, I have nothing to do with it, I know you want the big people, I have nothing to do with it.’

She added: ‘I have f*** all to do with it.’

She offered no comment to questions about buying luxury goods in Harrods between December 17 and 19, including £1,099 on Louis Vuitton items and £810 on Hermes.

Mester was shown CCTV images allegedly showing her being helped by one of the alleged burglars with her Oyster card at St Mary’s Cray station, near their rented apartment base in Orpington, Kent.

‘I do travel in London with the train,’ she said.

She then tried to grab the photos from another interviewing officer. She added: ‘It doesn’t mean they’re with me. Anything is possible.’ 

DC Peach said: ‘On the 13th of December a burglary happened, since then I think my team have had one day off, we have been collating evidence.’ 

Mester denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property

Mester denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property

She concluded the interview by complimenting DC Peach on his blue eyes and asking for another cigarette.

Three days earlier the thieves had made off with jewellery worth Euro 600,000 and Euro 400,000 in cash, from the Knightsbridge home of late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after smashing one of his safes with hammers, the court has heard.

The burglars had made off with £60,000 worth of valuables from the Chelsea home Frank Lampard shares with television presenter Christine Lampard on December 1.

Mester is said to have been ‘inseparable’ from the alleged burglars and Marcovici assisted by driving them to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s property. 

Nearly 400 items of jewellery were bagged by the three raiders, the court heard.

Paul Jarvis, prosecuting, revealed to jurors an extensive 64 page list of agreed facts about events around the burglary.

Mr Javis said: ‘During an examination of the house, detectives entered each room that was broken into.

Mester was shown CCTV images allegedly showing her being helped by one of the alleged burglars with her Oyster card at St Mary's Cray station. Pictured: Security gates outside Tamara Ecclestone's home in Kensington

Mester was shown CCTV images allegedly showing her being helped by one of the alleged burglars with her Oyster card at St Mary’s Cray station. Pictured: Security gates outside Tamara Ecclestone’s home in Kensington

‘Locking mechanisms and doorframes looked significantly damaged on almost every door, apart from the one door that led to Tamara Ecclestone’s dressing room (called the ‘Vault room’) that housed the jewellery cabinet.

‘This was a very heavy, much thicker door, and there was no damage to either the locking mechanism or the handle door.

‘Detectives who visited the scene were of the view that a “staged attempt” had been made to enter.

‘This door had not been forced and had been either left open or was opened by the use of a key.

‘Whilst police were at the scene, Tamara Ecclestone and Lee Morgan spoke to (security guard)Martin Akerman. Lee Morgan said to him “there was no way the jewellery door was locked.”

‘Mr Akerman replied “I swear it was locked, I checked it. It was definitely locked”.

‘When Mr Akerman was interviewed by the police he said he had locked the door to the vault.

‘The Ecclestone family subsequently commissioned an expert locksmith’s report which found that the vault had been left unlocked.

‘Mr Akerman denied that he had unlocked the vault for the intruders..’

The Ecclestone family subsequently commissioned an expert locksmith's report which found that the vault had been left unlocked. Pictured: Tamara Ecclestone

The Ecclestone family subsequently commissioned an expert locksmith’s report which found that the vault had been left unlocked. Pictured: Tamara Ecclestone

Mr Akerman was nearby in Tescos, refuelling and buying vegetables for a chicken roast when his colleague called him about the burglary.

PCs Gomes and Brown, who first responded to the call, made statements that head security guard Ian Eltringham told them he saw the suspects leaving.

It was only when he made a signed statement that he mentioned his physical struggle with the burglars.

DC Mallen wrote in his statement: ‘Eltringham initially had said that he had seen the burglars and had witnessed them leaving the property however I understand that his account later changed and that he stated afterward that he had had a physical confrontation with the suspects on the 1st floor before they made their escape via the ground floor.’

Mester, of no fixed address, denies three counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property.

Savastru, of Bethnal Green, denies two counts of conspiracy to burgle and attempting to remove criminal property.

Marcovici, of Romford, and Stan, of Harrow, deny conspiracy to burgle.

The trial continues.


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