Gang stole £3.75 million Portland Tiara and brooch in ‘ruthlessly executed’ burglary, court hears
A gang stole a £3.75 million jewellery collection, including a tiara worn to the coronation of Edward VII, as part of a series of "ruthlessly executed" burglaries, a court has heard.
The item is alleged to have been taken from The Portland Collection Gallery on The Welbeck Estate in Worksop on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
Ashley Cumberpatch, his partner Kelly Duong, Kurtis Dilks, Matthew Johnson, Adrian Eddishaw and Andrew MacDonald are all accused of conspiracy to commit burglary in connection with the theft of the "national treasure".
Nottingham Crown Court heard the theft of the Portland Tiara and associated brooch was a “shocking event” and it will never again be seen in its original state.
Prosecutor Michael Brady QC told jurors that property stolen during the burglaries and robberies was passed to professional handlers Tevfik Guccuk and Sercan Evsin, who were tasked with selling the items.
The Crown’s QC said: "Those responsible for this part of what was highly sophisticated criminal offending, Evsin and Guccuk, operated an ostensibly legitimate jewellery business in Hatton Garden.
"Such was the value and conspicuous nature of some of the items stolen that it was not possible to sell them in the UK."
The Portland Tiara is a diamond-encrusted gold and silver item made for Winfred, Duchess of Portland to wear at the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.
The heirloom was made by Cartier. The centre-piece of the tiara is the Portland Diamond, which dates from the 19th century.
It is flanked by two diamond drops and other pendant diamonds, all set in gold and silver.
What is alleged to have happened?
The tiara was allegedly taken from The Portland Collection Gallery on The Welbeck Estate in Worksop on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
It was allegedly taken along with a diamond brooch - while the alarms were sounding.
The brooch is composed of diamond clusters that previously stood at the apex of the tiara. The tiara hasn't been recovered and police are still appealing for information.
Jewel of supreme importance
Richard Edgcumbe, curator of jewellery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London said: "The Portland Tiara is one of the great historic tiaras of Great Britain.
"Since its creation by Cartier in 1902, using diamonds from the historic collections of the Dukes of Portland, it has been recognised as a jewel of supreme importance, a superb design magnificently executed."
Cumberpatch, Duong, Dilks, Johnson, Eddishaw, MacDonald, Evsin and Guccuk, alongside Darren Stokes, Gordon Thornhill, and Christopher Yorke, all deny involvement in the series of burglaries.
The trial continues.