Simon Cowell burglary: Man guilty of stealing £1m of gems

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Simon CowellImage source, PA
Image caption,
Simon Cowell, his partner and their son were in the house when it was broken into

A serial burglar has been convicted of stealing jewellery worth almost £1m from Simon Cowell's west London home.

Darren February, 33, of no fixed address, had denied breaking into the Holland Park house while the music mogul and his family slept.

He took jewellery and two passports from an open safe while a security guard was in the toilet in December 2015, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

February had previously been convicted of 37 burglaries, the prosecution said.

He is currently serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving after hitting a motorcyclist near Mr Cowell's home just 10 days after the burglary. He was convicted last year.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Darren February had previously been convicted of 37 burglaries

He was first convicted aged 12 and has committed 58 offences spanning two decades.

The jury took less than an hour to find him guilty following a four-day trial.

The court heard February's DNA was found on gloves dropped during his escape and on a handprint left on a wall at the property. A security worker also spotted him as he fled.

Diamond bracelet

In a statement read out in court, Mr Cowell said he and his partner Lauren Silverman had been "very concerned" for their son Eric after learning about the burglary.

He explained the safe had been left open as Ms Silverman was catching a flight in the morning and wanted to "quietly get her jewellery" when she left.

Among the items taken were a ring estimated to be worth £500,000 as well as earrings, watches and a diamond bracelet.

February will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday.

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