Tamara Ecclestone mansion burglary: No alarm was set, guard tells court
A fire extinguisher was hurled at a lone security guard in Tamara Ecclestone's luxury home as burglars stole 25m of goods, a court has heard.
Ian Eltringham said he chased three men as they made off with her jewellery.
Asked whether it was a coincidence that the burglar alarm was not set when the raid took place, he said he thought "they were very, very lucky burglars".
Maria Mester, Emil Bogdan Savastru, Alexandru Stan and Sorin Marcovici deny conspiracy to burgle.
Another security guard had gone to get food and petrol, returning as the burglars fled the scene, jurors heard.
Isleworth Crown Court has already been told that the mansion of Ms Ecclestone and her husband Jay Rutland was the third multimillion-pound property to be targeted by a team of burglars in the space of 13 days.
Watches were taken from the home of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard on 1 December and about 1m worth of goods were stolen from the family of former Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in Knightsbridge on 10 December.
Ms Mester, 47, her 30-year-old son Mr Savastru, Mr Stan, 49, and Mr Marcovici, 52, were the "support cast" to the burglars, jurors have heard.
Mr Eltringham told jurors he began working for Ms Ecclestone and Mr Rutland in February 2019 and had started his shift at 18:00 GMT on the day of the burglary.
Only that morning, the F1 heiress and her husband had left for a holiday in Europe, he said.
Mr Eltringham said he was the only security guard in the house at about 22:00.
"It's a very big house," he told the court. "An old one and the walls are very thick. I could hear some loud banging and I was in the basement. I thought it was very strange, so I wanted to take a look."
Mr Eltringham said he felt a "cold draft" as he walked along a corridor and found two open windows.
As he continued his search, he said he came across the burglars.
"There was a lot of noise - it wasn't English they were speaking. The nearest I could describe it was Eastern European," he told the court.
Mr Eltringham said two of the three burglars "steamrollered him" as they ran at him.
He described trying to grab them and managed to trip one up, who "tumbled" down a staircase.
Mr Eltringham said he then fought with the third man, but was approached by one of the other burglars.
"I stood up and saw a guy with a fire extinguisher above his head. He was speaking, shouting and it looked like he was going to throw it at me.
"My reaction was to move towards him. He threw the fire extinguisher towards me, but it didn't hit me."
Mr Eltringham said all three men were able to get out of one of the open windows.
Ms Mester's barrister Leonard Smith QC questioned why the alarm to Ms Ecclestone's home had been deactivated at 21:10.
He asked: "I don't know if you believe in coincidence or not but that alarm didn't happen to be set when three burglars happened to rob one of the most expensive houses in the world?"
Mr Eltringham replied: "I think they were very, very lucky burglars."
The trial continues.