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Simon Cowell burglary: Serial burglar jailed for eight years

Simon Cowell Image copyright PA
Image caption Simon Cowell told the court that since the break-in he lived in "constant fear" for his family

A serial burglar who stole jewellery worth almost £1m from Simon Cowell's west London home has been jailed for eight years.

Darren February took valuables from a safe at the Holland Park property as Mr Cowell and his family slept.

In an impact statement read at Isleworth Crown Court, the music mogul said he was living in "constant fear" for his family since the break-in.

February, aged 33 and of no fixed address, had denied the charge.

The court heard he had been convicted of 58 offences over two decades, including 37 burglaries.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Darren February had previously been convicted of 37 burglaries

In his statement, Mr Cowell said he was "very scared of what could have happened to my son if the burglar had gone into his room".

The X Factor supremo said he, his partner and his son's nannies had "become much more anxious over safety issues" since the burglary.

February took jewellery including a ring worth £500,000 from an open safe in the house in December 2015 while a security guard was in the toilet.

The court heard valuables worth as much as £830,000 were still missing.

'Difficult childhood'

Judge Martin Edmunds QC said February had an "appalling previous record" and had not shown "any remorse or regret".

He had been on licence for burglary and public order offences at the time he broke into Mr Cowell's home.

Mitigating, Giles Newell told the court the serial burglar had a "difficult childhood" having grown up in care.

February is also currently serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving after hitting a motorcyclist near Mr Cowell's home just 10 days after the burglary.

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