It has been reported in several newspaper out of the city, but despite the constant advertorials on the Mann Island Development this is what is not printed!!!!!!!!!!
Read businessman 'lied to claim insurance on £120,000 Rolex'
5:18pm Tuesday 6th April 2010
A WEALTHY businessman from Lancashire lied to claims investigators when he realised his stolen £120,000 Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch would not be covered by his insurance, a court has heard.
The diamond-encrusted gent's platinum watch was among valuables burgled from the mansion of property developer Toby Whittaker in December 2008.
Whittaker, 32, of Read, in the Ribble Valley, initially told police the watch was taken from his bedroom while he was out enjoying a meal with his wife, but gave a different story to insurers and said it was snatched from an underfloor safe in the home, Preston Crown Court was told.
The limited edition timepiece was only covered for theft if the owner wore it, stored it in a safe or kept it at their side if they took it off. The defendant was also said to have panicked when he wrongly thought the whole claim would be invalidated because the house alarm was not set.
He is alleged to have then conspired with a director of the alarm firm to make a false report that stated the alarm had not activated for technical reasons which was no fault of the householder.
Whittaker denies one count of conspiracy to defraud Zurich Insurance and one count of fraud.
Three hooded men struck at his home in Back Lane and smashed his front door down before they ransacked the property of the watch, jewellery, guns and £20,000 in cash.
They then loaded the haul into Whittaker's Range Rover vehicle and made off.
The defendant raised the alarm when he returned home on the evening of December 19.
Andrew Longworth, prosecuting, said Whittaker told a police constable at the crime scene that the alarm had not been set and his wife, Jennifer, further explained they would not activate it if they left the house for a short period of time.
Ironically his top-level insurance did not require the alarm to be set, added the prosecutor, so his actions were "all for nothing".
But he said the essence of the offence was the agreement to tell a lie.
Whitworth also went on to tell a claims investigator that the thieves must have found the key to the safe and stole his watch and cash. The trial, expected to last three days, continues.
East Lancs businessman forged alarm records after burglary
9:00am Saturday 29th May 2010
BUSINESSMAN lost his wife, his job and almost his firm after ‘helping’ a millionaire friend by forging burglar alarm records, a court was told.
Stefan Halenko, 56, the director of Blackburn Alarms, based in Davyfield Road, had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Zurich Insurance.
His falsification was said to have cost his property tycoon friend Toby Whittaker, who he regarded as ‘family’, a £400,000 insurance payout.
Despite all that, Halenko left court smiling yesterday after being given a community sentence by deputy circuit Judge Charles Mahon.
Preston Crown Court heard that Halenko's firm had fitted the £25,000 high-level security system at Mr Whittaker, the boss of Dylan Harvey, home in Read.
Mr Whittaker was burgled in December 2008 with hundreds of thousands of pounds of jewellery stolen and the alarm had not been set.
Prosecuting, Nigel Booth, said Halenko produced a forged 'alarm event log' purporting to show the alarm had been set.
In a ‘cruel irony’, it was later revealed that Mr Whittaker's insurance policy did not require the alarm to be set.
However, Halenko’s act made Whittaker’s claim void, costing him most of the £400,000 payout for his stolen property, including his £120,00 diamond encrusted Rolex watch and wife’s jewellery.
A month after the burglary, Halenko, of Mayfield Gardens, Oswaldtwistle, confessed to Zurich claims investigator Lol Pedley, leading to a police prosecution against Halenko and Whittaker for a conspiracy to defraud.
Mr Booth said Halenko's guilty plea was on the basis that he was asked for help by Mr Whittaker between December 18 and 20.
“He agreed to go along with the story that the alarm was set because Mr Whittaker was telling everybody it was set,” Mr Booth said.
Last month, Mr Whittaker was acquitted after a trial of the same conspiracy charge as well as fraud.
During the evidence, his defence claimed that Halenko had acted alone to 'ingratiate' himself with his best client and maintain a contract worth £2m to Blackburn Alarms providing security for Mr Whittaker's businesses. It represented 90 per cent of the firm's business.
However, Michael Maher, for Halenko, told the court yesterday that his client was 'bemused' to find himself effectively having conspired with an innocent man.
Mr Maher said that although Halenko insisted Mr Whittaker did not put any pressure on him to falsify the records, he was 'not a man you said no to' and was 'genuinely upset that he was not going to be recompensed'.
The solicitor said Halenko's guilty plea not only voided Mr Whittaker's claim, despite his acquittal, but had lead to the 'massive downturn' of his Blackburn business.
In April, he resigned, resulting in his son having to come back from New Zealand to pick up the firm which was on it's 'last legs'. The case had also lead to the breakdown of his marriage.
His last company tax bill was down from £20,000-£30,000 the previous year, to £500 for the past 12 months.
Mr Maher said it was a 'genuine sadness' that a man in his mid 50s of previous good character had a 'moment of madness' prompted by a desire to help a close friend.
Judge Mahon said Halenko woud have benefitted 'over time' from Mr Whittaker and said he had been in a 'position of trust'.
He gave him 12 months supervision and 80 hours unpaid work.
Halenko declined to comment after the case.
Read property mogul breaks down in tears in court
5:27pm Wednesday 7th April 2010
A MILLIONAIRE property mogul received kidnap threats against his children in the months before his mansion was burgled, a court heard.
Toby Whittaker, 32, of Back Lane, Read, invested in a £25,000 top-of-the-range security system to protect his family after thugs sent him pictures of his four young children's school, his house, and his father's, solicitor's and accountant's houses, along with kidnap threats.
Whittaker is accused of conspiracy to defraud and fraud in relation to alleged falsified burglar alarm records and an insurance claim in the wake of the £400,000 raid in December 2008.
He denies changing his story to say a £120,000 diamond-encrusted Rolex Oyster Perpetual was kept in a safe and also denies conspiring with burglar alarm company owner Stefan Halenko, to provide Zurich insurance with false documents showing the alarm had been set.
Whittaker, the son of a former Blackburn police officer, took to the stand at Preston Crown Court and explained he had made his money in the buy-to-let market during the property boom.
But he said after receiving the threats he told Mr Halenko he wanted 'as good a system as he could get'.
He disputed prosecution evidence that he and his wife of six years Jennifer had told officers at the scene that the alarm wasn't set.
“The only time I would not have set the alarm was if we took the dogs for a walk around the grounds for 10 or 15 minutes or maybe if I nipped to the shop during the day.
“Every time we leave the house my wife asks me two questions which irritate me and they are 'GSM?' – got some money, and 'have you set the alarm?'
Whittaker broke down in tears as he recalled the conversation with his wife and two officers soon after they returned home to their burgled manor house.
“My wife was crying on the settee saying 'you haven't set the alarm'. I said I had set it but it hadn't worked.
“One officer said we wouldn't be covered by the insurance and I told him not to worry about because I had good insurance.”
The trial is expected to conclude today.
He may have got off with it but happened to all thse investors that lost a fortune out of his failed business ventures.
Dylan Harvey boss cleared of fraud charges
12 Apr 2010, 07:45
Toby Whittaker, whose Dylan Harvey Residential business collapsed last year owing creditors £6.5m, has been cleared of faking burglar alarm records and lying to an insurance claims investigator after a burglary at his home.
Whittaker, 32, was cleared of allegations he lied to claim insurance on a stolen £120,000 Rolex watch, which was among £400,000 of goods burgled from his mansion in December 2008.
The property developer was accused of conspiring with Stefan Halenko, director of Blackburn Alarms, to produce a false burglar alarm record to show his alarm had been set at the time of the raid.
He was also charged with fraud, with the prosecution claiming he lied about keeping an expensive Rolex watch in a safe.
A jury was told by Whittaker's defence barrister, David Turner QC, that Halenko had acted alone to 'ingratiate' himself with his best client.
Halenko had already admitted to producing the false burglar alarm records and will be sentenced at a later date.
Whittaker gave evidence at Preston Crown Court last week and said his family had received kidnap threats prior to the burglary.
The court heard that Whittaker turned to Halenko, who he had a £2m contract with for his property portfolio, which represented a 90% of the company's business.
A total of eight security cameras, amongst other security measures, were installed and Whittaker also took out a £5,000-a-year home insurance policy arranged through family broker John Meadows.
It was later discovered that the alarm did not even need to be set for Whittaker's home insurance policy to cover his losses.
In February this year Whittaker was beaten up and his family threatened when six men robbed their £1.5m home in Read, near Blackburn.
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