A gang who stole more than £400,000 of designer goods from the mansion of former England captain John Terry have been jailed for nearly 28 years for a series of raids on luxury homes.
Judge Susan Tapping, sentencing at Kingston Crown Court, said the Terry burglary was part of a “carefully planned” series of raids on large luxury homes by a gang who are “experienced if not professional burglars”.
She described it as “a very successful campaign” spanning seven burglaries in which £600,000 worth of goods were stolen.
They were carried out by four men, each with a long history of offending, who gave no reaction from the dock as they were sentenced to a total of 27 years and 11 months in prison.
Another “unidentified” suspect who was not in court was also involved, the judge said.
Terry’s mansion in Oxshot, Surrey, was targeted in February after the player posted pictures from the slopes of the French Alps with his wife Toni, telling his 3.4 million Instagram followers that he was having a “great few days away skiing with the family”.
The thieves took the chance to help themselves to property including designer handbags worth £126,00, more than £220,000 of jewellery and rare signed first edition Harry Potter books valued at £18,000.
The judge said: “It might have been a mistake to post a family photograph on social media to show that he was away on holiday. His home was deliberately targeted and the master bedroom suite was ransacked.”
The judge said the thieves were “not content with the original haul” and so returned with an unidentified man “and an angle grinder, determined to get in the safe.”
She said: “The noise woke the housekeeper and the alarm had been triggered.”
Darren Eastaugh, 30, Joshua Sumer, 27, Roy Head, 28, and Oliver Hart, 25, have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit burglary between February 1 and March 27 this year. The burglaries took place in Surrey and Sussex.
Eastaugh, of Bedfont, London, was sentenced to seven years and three months, Sumer, of Havant, Portsmouth, was sentenced eight years, Head, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was jailed for seven years and four months and Hart, also of Walton-on-Thames, was jailed for five years and four months.
A fifth man, Kye Hardy-King, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods when some of the property was found at his home. He was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, a two-month curfew and a rehabilitation requirement.