Burglar in £2m raid on St John's Wood home of Sir Phillip Green's family gets 21 years
PUBLISHED: 13:18 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:30 25 January 2018
A man who stole £2million of jewellery from the family of billionaire businessman Sir Philip Green during a burglary in St John's Wood has been jailed for 21 years.
Robert Lewis was sentenced on January 24 after being found guilty of burglary and robbery.
During the trial, a Harrow Crown Court jury heard how Lewis broke into the house of Sir Philip’s stepson, property developer Brett Palos, and his wife Magda. He threatened Mrs Palos with garden shears and ordered her to hand over all her valuables as she stepped out of the shower.
A heart-shaped diamond ring, a Chanel Camelia ring, three Cartier bracelets and a number of Rolex watches were among the items stolen, the court heard.
Jewellery and watches were taken in the raid at 7.15am on December 10, 2016, after Lewis forced open a ground floor side window at the family’s home at the end of a gated street.
Three weeks after the burglary police spotted Lewis in a grey Mercedes C160 coupe parked outside a restaurant in Harlesden High Street. When a uniformed officer confronted him he mounted the pavement and raced off. He was then spotted driving at high speed on the wrong side of Acton Lane by two plain clothes officers who pursued him until the 41-year-old collided with a black Tesla car. He jumped out of the Mercedes, vaulted over the bonnet of the officers’ car and started to run off armed with what looked like a machine gun.
The officers chased him but Lewis turned on the sergeant and pointed the gun at him. A Met spokesman said: “The officer stopped and looked away, thinking he was about to die and expecting to hear gunshots.”
But Lewis then turned the gun on another officer who looked away too before the suspect escaped on foot across the A40. A manhunt led to his arrest on January 13.
Lewis, of no fixed abode, was picked out of an ID parade. His DNA was found on the damaged window.
He was sentenced to 21 years for robbery, three of them on licence; eight years for burglary; and five years for possession of an imitation firearm. The sentences run concurrently. He was also banned from driving for three years.
Lewis, with a string of previous burglary convictions, refused to give evidence at trial or answer questions when interviewed by detectives.