Burglar gets eight years for £1m Cowell break-in
A burglar who stole almost £1m of jewellery from Simon Cowell’s home, leaving him with “constant fear” for the safety of his family, has been jailed for eight years.
Darren February, 33, broke into Cowell’s house through a patio door and stole from an open safe in December 2015.
The music mogul’s partner, Lauren Silverman, and two-year-old son Eric were also asleep in the Holland Park property.
The burglar waited for a security guard to go to the toilet before making his move.
Just 10 days later, not far from Cowell’s home, he drove a stolen car into motorcyclist Kenneth Baldwin, killing him in a hit-and-run.
Cowell was not at the sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court but described his lingering fears in a victim impact statement.
“This incident has caused me great concerns about the security of my family,” he said.
“On reflection I am very scared of what could have happened to my son if the burglar had gone into his room.
“I could not bear to think of the consequences and also a lot would have happened if the burglar had come into our room.
“The whole incident has been very traumatic and there is a constant fear that it may be repeated and that it may be worse next time.”
Cowell said his family and their nannies had become “much more anxious” over the safety of his son.
The court heard that about £950,000 of property was stolen, with as much as £830,000 still missing.
Among the items taken were a ring estimated to be worth £500,000, earrings, watches and a diamond bracelet.
The safe had been left open because Silverman had been due to catch a flight in the morning and wanted to leave without making much noise.
February has a string of previous convictions stretching back to when he was 12, including 37 burglaries, and is currently serving a sentence for killing the motorcyclist.
He was out on licence for the burglaries and public order offences when he broke into Cowell’s house.