Romanian Maria Mester, 47, has told jurors that she was “a simple escort”. Not a thief after being accused of assisting in one of Britain’s biggest ever domestic burglary plots.
Woman in Ecclestone burglary plot says she was “a simple escort”: She has denied any involvement in the £26 million plot which saw alleged thieves steal jewellery, cash and items from three high profile celebrities homes in West London. During a 2 week spree last December. Top of the list was a daring £25 million raid on the home of socialite Tamara Ecclestone. Daughter of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, and her husband Jay Rutland.
The four alleged burglars cannot be named for legal reasons. However Mester, her son Emil Bogdan Savastru and two other men stand accused of “aiding” the plot rather than carrying out the burglaries themselves. Mester and her son are also accused of money laundering and the four on trial deny all the charges against them. When cross-examined by prosecutor Paul Jarvis at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday Mester described herself as a “stupid chicken”. Compared to the professional burglars. And told jurors she was only in London as she was getting paid £5,000 to work as an escort for one of the alleged burglars. Staying in an apartment in Orpington, Kent, which is where the gang were reported to be based.
When questioned by Mr Jarvis about why they would want her staying at the apartment for a week Mester replied “He invited me to be his escort, not to participate (in the burglaries).
I came here as an escort. I didn’t come here to watch them, I didn’t come here to babysit them. It’s not rocket science. A man who wants to have fun does not entrust an escort with his life, his personal details, his information.”
She went on to say that her and her son were “just victims in all this.” Mr Jarvis said told Mester she was “more than just an escort”, to which the defendant replied: “No, I was a simple escort, please prove to me I wasn’t.” The court heard that Mester was arrested in London in January where she was spotted wearing identical earrings to the ones stolen in the Ecclestone burglary. Mr Jarvis said You were perfectly happy to help plan and commit these burglaries, weren’t you?”
Mester replied “That’s what you say. Is that the reason why I returned wearing those earrings when I was arrested? You’re talking here about professionals, I am just a stupid chicken.” The trial previously heard three homes were targeted – that of Chelsea FC manager Frank Lampard and his television presenter wife Christine Lampard, then the late Leicester City FC chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and then the Ecclestone home. The trial continues.
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