Jail for Lincolnshire mugger who stole phone from David Cameron's father-in-law

Antony Wilks, 25, from Ealand near Crowle, Lincolnshire
Antony Wilks, 25, from Ealand near Crowle, Lincolnshire Credit: PA

A mugger who robbed David Cameron's father-in-law of his mobile phone has been jailed for 18 months.

Sir Reginald Sheffield, 74, was sitting in his car filming trespassers on his estate near Scunthorpe during lockdown when one of them reached in and grabbed the handset after a struggle, saying: "I'll have your phone, ta."

Antony Wilks, 25, from Ealand near Crowle, Lincolnshire, was on licence at the time for a series of offences, and was jailed for 18 months at Grimsby Crown Court after admitting robbery.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, said Sir Reginald - the Old Etonian father of Samantha Cameron - had gone to investigate a group of men in a car and on a trials bike on the Normanby Estate, close to a wind farm, at around 4pm on April 14.

Dashcam footage recorded Wilks coming up to the car as Sir Reginald filmed on his phone.

Mr Evans said: "It seems from my reading of the papers that this defendant and the males present were making mischief, passing time out of the view of the public, but of course this was lockdown."

After saying he was taking the phone, Wilks struggled with the landowner for a couple of seconds - during which Sir Reginald pushed his attacker's face against his windscreen - before the mugger managed to wrestle the phone off him.

As he walked off, Wilks said "f****** daft c***, see you in a bit", and got into a VW Golf which drove off with the bike.

Sir Reginald could be heard on the footage sighing and breathing deeply.

Wilks deleted three pictures Sir Reginald had taken of the group, but did not wipe the phone, and its in-built tracking technology meant police were able to locate it.

When he was arrested at an address in Scunthorpe, Wilks said: "I know why you are here, it's for the iPhone, I've got it."

In a victim statement, Sir Reginald expressed anger at what happened and said he now felt anxious on more remote parts of his property.

Gordon Stables, defending, said Wilks felt remorse and wished he had simply deleted the photos and handed the phone back.

Judge Mark Bury told the defendant: "Sir Reginald Sheffield is 74. He had every right to ask you what you were doing on his land because you were trespassing, and he had every right to record you."

The offence was aggravated by the fact Wilks was on licence at the time, the judge said.