Burglar ’doesn’t know how DNA was at scene of £2m gems raid’

Burglar ’doesn’t know how DNA was at scene of £2m gems raid’

Diamonds, Gemstones

A man accused of stealing jewellery totalling £2m (€2.27m) from the stepson of billionaire businessman Philip Green said he does not know how his DNA came to be at the scene.

Robert Lewis, 41, allegedly broke in to Brett Palos and his wife Magda’s house and ordered her to hand over all her valuables while she was wearing only a towel.

A heart-shaped diamond ring, a Chanel Camelia ring, three Cartier bracelets, and a number of Rolex watches were among the stolen items.

Lewis is facing trial for burglary, aggravated burglary and robbery at Harrow Crown Court.

The victim later picked Lewis out of an identity parade, while a full-match profile of his DNA was found around the damaged window frame, the jury heard.

Lewis, who has a string of previous convictions for burglary and attempted burglary, did not give evidence at trial or answer any questions when interviewed by police.

Elroy Claxton, defending, said: “It’s his right to remain silent and that’s something he has done.”

He asked jurors to “examine the integrity” of the DNA evidence and added: “What Mr Lewis says is that he doesn’t know how DNA got there.”

The intruder forced a window on the ground floor of the property which sits at the end of a private, gated street in St John’s Wood, north west London.

In total £2,003,653 (€2,274,823) worth of jewellery and watches were taken in the raid at around 7.15am on December 10, 2016.

Lewis, of Paddington, denies the charges against him.

The trial will continue on Tuesday when the judge is due to sum up the case.

Mr Palos is the son of Philip’s wife Lady Christina Green and her first husband, Robert Palos.

He is a property developer and also sits on the board of Philip’s Arcadia Group which owns brands including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.

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