Cleaner Found Guilty of Stealing Russian Billionaire’s £330,000 Luxury Watches

The cleaner of a Russian billionaire who stole £330,000 worth of luxury watches from his Kensington home has been spared jail because of her employee’s immense wealth, a court has heard.

Charisse Montes, 32, stole eight Hublot and Rolex watches worth between £25,000 and £65,000 each from Timur Sardarov, son of oil tycoon Rashid Sardarov, while he was away on a business trip.

The burglary, which took place in June 2015, saw Montes pocket £22,000 after exchanging them with crooked pawnbroker Mattia Dal-Pont.

Dal-Point was later caught handling stolen goods during an undercover police sting on his shop, while Montes was found in possession of £4,240 cash on her arrest, along with three iPads, a laptop and seven designer handbags.

But yesterday Montes escaped custody after her defence barrister, Rupert Russell, asked the Judge to place her crime in “context” with Mr Sardarov’s wealth, who he pointed out was an “extremely wealthy man”.

Mr Russell also claimed that his client’s crime had been “driven” by a gambling addiction, citing evidence showing a casino app on her phone had made 2,429 ‘plays’ in the year leading up to her arrest.

“She is deeply remorseful for what she has done. She does now have that under control,” he added.

“She was also receiving texts from her co-defendant, Mr Dal-Pont, encouraging her to come forward with more watches. She was working as a part-time cleaner but she has in fact lost that job.”

However, prosecutor Edward Franklin told Southwark Crown Court that her actions had been a “betrayal” of Mr Sardarov, who had rehired her out of “mercy” after she was sacked in 2014 for taking his wife’s Rolex.

“There was a high degree of trust reposed in the defendant,” he added. “They were clearly watches of substantial value, not just in terms of monetary worth.”

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Grieve QC said: “Timur Sardarov was your employer over a period of at least eight years.

“I saw Mr Sardarov give evidence in the trial of your friend and co-defendant Ms Cantos and you were indeed a trusted cleaner.

“You let him and his wife down very badly and I hope you are aware of that. Gambling addiction is one of the scourges of modern times. It draws people like yourself to do very shameful and hurtful things.”

Montes, of Colney Hatch Lane, Barnet, was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Dal-Pont, formerly of Gatliff Road, Westminster, was jailed to 16 months last month.

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