Tamara Ecclestone burglary: Milan man guilty of £26m celebrity raids

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Image caption,
The homes of Frank and Christine Lampard, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and Tamara Ecclestone and her husband were broken into in December 2019

An Italian man has been convicted over his role in a £25m raid on model Tamara Ecclestone's luxury west London home.

In a series of high-end burglaries in December 2019, watches and jewellery belonging to Mrs Ecclestone, Frank Lampard and the late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha were among the items taken.

Alessandro Maltese, 45, from Milan, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to conspiracy to burgle.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

The raid on Ms Ecclestone's Kensington home is one of the biggest domestic burglaries in English legal history, in terms of the value of items stolen.

Maltese was arrested in Italy under a European Arrest Warrant in September and extradited to the UK the following month.

Assisted in court by an Italian interpreter, he admitted to conspiring to burgle dwellings between 30 November 2019 and 18 December 2019.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC said Maltese had previously denied the charge in March, but had now changed his plea.

The home of the former Chelsea manager and England international Mr Lampard was the first to be raided on 1 December.

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Image caption,
Tamara Ecclestone's Kensington mansion was raided on 13 December 2019 as she flew out for a Christmas family holiday

A diamond watch, cufflinks and a clock worth an estimated £60,000 were taken.

Then on 10 December, a Knightsbridge property belonging to the Srivaddhanaprabha family was targeted.

It was duty-free billionaire Leicester City owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's home before his death in a helicopter crash outside the club's King Power Stadium in October 2018.

Christmas family holiday

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

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

Ms Ecclestone, the daughter of ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, was on a Christmas family holiday in Lapland with Mr Rutland, their daughter and their dog at the time.

Judge Karen Holt remanded Maltese in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing next month.

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