A WEALTHY homeowner who fell victim to a fake millionaire burglar said his family was still living in fear.
Simon Ellis, 49, had two Cartier watches, worth a total of £35,000, stolen from his home in Western Road, Rayleigh, by 36-year-old William Flynn.
Flynn was sentenced to eight years in jail at Basildon Crown Court last week for stealing £803,000 in jewellery from homes in Southend, Rochford, Surrey and the central London home of F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter, Petra Stunt, by posing as a wealthy prospective buyer.
He was shown round Mr Ellis’s £1.25million home by estate agents Fine and Country for an initial viewing, after posing as a millionaire interested in buying the house.
But he then made a last-minute request to see the house again the next day, claiming he had to see it quickly because he was flying out to Dubai.
Mr Ellis said he reluctantly agreed to allow Flynn to view the property unaccompanied while his wife and young son were in the house.
He said: “My wife and young son were in the house at the time, which now is quite scary.
“She knew something was up while he was here and texted me saying she was scared as he seemed to spending a long time in the bedroom.
“We’re constantly worried now.
We lock our bedroom at night and our son now sleeps with us because we are worried about him too.
“You wonder if there are other members of the gang and if they’re coming back, too, but luckily we’ve sold the house now.”
Mr Ellis added the couple did not even know they had been robbed until four days later when he went to put on his watch, which he only wears on Sundays, and realised it wasn’t there.
He said he is now considering taking legal action against the estate agents, although a Fine and Country spokeswoman said it had done nothing wrong.
She said: “The applicant was accompanied on the first viewing and had met the vendor’s wife, so Mr Ellis agreed to allow him to look around unaccompanied.
“We have spoken to Mr Ellis and apologised for his loss, but do not accept liability. It is very difficult to check a foreign address, which we were given, and financial checks are only done as part of the sales procedure.”