Ex-bodyguard to James Stunt charged with stealing £515,000 diamond from his home

Telegraph reporters
Mr Stunt's home was burgled in 2017 - GC Images

A bodyguard once employed by James Stunt has appeared in court  accused of stealing a diamond worth £515,000 from the former gold trader's home in Belgravia.

Justinas Ivaskevicius, 34, was charged with theft and possession of criminal property in relation to a burglary at Mr Stunt's London home in December 2017.

He denies any wrongdoing. The 34-year-old is alleged to have taken the 16.18 carat yellow rectangular cut diamond from a safe inside Mr Stunt's home.

The gem, valued at £515,000, was then allegedly sold to a Bond Street jeweller before it travelled to New York via Belgium.

Ivaskevicius, who was employed to protect Mr Stunt and his ex-wife Petra Ecclestone, was arrested by detectives from Scotland Yard's Flying Squad at an address in Cambridge on Wednesday.

He appeared in custody via video link at Westminster Magistrates Court. Ivaskevicius spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address and enter not guilty pleas to one count of theft and a separate charge of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property, namely tens of thousands of pounds in cash.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody as the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court where he will make his first appearance on June 26.

Mr Stunt told police the theft took place months after his divorce to Ms Ecclestone, whose father Bernie is the former chief executive of Formula One.

Once worth an estimated £3 billion, Mr Stunt had his assets and cash frozen at the High Court in 2018 at the request of the CPS in a 'proceeds of crime' restraint order.

Last June, he was declared bankrupt and, in March this year, his £11 million luxury cottage in Belgravia was repossessed along with his two apartments overlooking Chelsea Harbour, each worth £5 million.

Mr Stunt and Ms Ecclestone married in 2011 at a multimillion-pound ceremony at Odescalchi Castle, Rome before the couple divorced in 2017. They have three children together.