Towie sister Sam and Billie Faiers plead with judge as their stepfather is sentenced to four years in prison for 1.1m bullion heistDavid Chatwood, stepfather to the TV stars, was said to be the ringleader in the plot
They begged for leniency for the 58-year-old saying he 'was helpful in their shop'
He has served seven-and-a-half months on remand and could be released by April 2014
18:30 GMT, 7 December 2012
TOWIE stars Sam and Billie Faiers wrote to an Old Bailey judge pleading for leniency for their stepfather, jailed for four years today for his part in a 1.1 million bullion robbery.
The pair said that David Chatwood was 'helpful in their shop' in a letter to the judge ahead of sentencing.
The reality TV stars along with Sam's boyfriend Joey Essex sat in the public gallery and waved to Chatwood, 58, as he was led from the dock at the Old Bailey today.
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The Only Way Is Essex reality TV stars Sam and Billie Faiers, Joey Essex and Suzanne Wells are pictured arriving at London's Old Bailey court for the sentencing of David Chatwood, the Faiers sister's step-father
Chatwood (left) is married to the Towie stars' mother Sue Wells (right). Chatwood has been jailed for four years
Sentencing Judge Richard Hone QC
said: 'In Chatwood's case I have read and considered not only his own
letter from prison but also letters from his daughters who wrote they
found him helpful in their shop and a note from someone called John
Chatwood of JCB Building Services.'
Because Chatwood has served seven-and-a-half months on remand he could be released by April 2014.
Chatwood was one of the ringleaders behind the staged robbery gold and silver bars in Belgium.
Chatwood – known to pals as 'Chatty' –
helped organised the plot which saw 29kg of gold and 160kg of silver
stolen from a lorry near Antwerp. He pleaded guilty at the plea and case
Fellow ringleader John Corley, 53, who was convicted after an Old Bailey trial, was jailed for six years.
Sentencing Judge Richard Hone QC
said: 'After a trial at this court lasting some weeks John Corley was
convicted and others have pleaded guilty to a well organised and
sophisticated conspiracy to steal gold and silver bullion that was being
transported from Switzerland to Birmingham in the UK.
The Faiers' stepfather Chatwood was involved in a plot to steal gold and silver bullion in an Italian Job-style heist in Belgium
The couple seemed uncharacteristically camera shy as they headed into court
John Corley of Whitstable, Kent, has also been found guilty following a trial and will also be sentenced
'There were preliminary preparations
in the months of June and July 2011 which have been categorised as a
possible dummy run for what occurred on October 4 2011 when gold and
silver bullion to the value of approximately 1million was stolen from a
lorry being driven by Brian Mulcahay.
'Many of the defendant are professional and experienced criminals with bad records.'
Of Chatwood he added: 'The Crown's case is he is a principal organiser.
'He seems on the evidence to meet
co-conspirators including breach of trust lorry driver Mulcahay and
plainly these meetings were in furtherance of that conspiracy.'
The bullion belonged to a precious
metal company and was en route to the UK last October driven by inside
man Brian Mulcahay, 46 and known as 'the Vicar.'
He was jailed for
three-and-a-half years after admitting his role too.
But the plot was 'doomed to failure'
because some of the gang were being watched by British police and they
were all soon rounded up following the robbery at the side of a the
Detectives had watched as Chatwood
would meet up with Corley in a South Weald churchyard, and pubs in
Brentwood, Harlow and Dartford Bridge in the company with other
Stanley Rose, 75, and David Gale, 56,
who were recruited to look after the bullion in Belgium before it was
sold on were jailed for four years and three years respectively.
Hired help Gary Cummins, 51, brought in to unload the lorry was given three years.
John Price, QC, prosecuting, told an earlier hearing: 'Although this theft was executed in Belgium, this British lorry and its valuable bullion cargo had been targeted for the theft by British thieves.
'This had been a crime ‘Made in Britain’.'
VIDEO: TOWIE sisters leave court after stepfather's sentencing…
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