Somerset

Eleven in court over Bulmers cider family art robbery

Endymion Image copyright georgefredericwatts.org
Image caption A total of 15 paintings were stolen, including Endymion by George Frederic Watts

Eleven men have appeared in court charged in connection with a multi-million pound raid at a cider-making family's luxury home in Somerset.

Esmond and Susie Bulmer's home in Bruton was targeted in 2009 and the couple's housekeeper was allegedly tied to a banister.

A total of 15 paintings worth £1.7m, and £1m of jewellery were stolen.

All the defendants deny any wrongdoing and are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 22 September.


Those charged are:

  • Liam Judge, 41, of Crypt Court, Tuffley, Gloucester, accused of conspiracy to commit robbery
  • Matthew Evans, 40, of Coral Close, Tuffley, Gloucester, accused of conspiracy to commit robbery
  • Skinder Ali, 38, whose address was listed as HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire, accused of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to receive stolen goods. He appeared by videolink
  • Jonathan Rees, 62, of Village Close, Weybridge, Surrey, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods, conspiracy to defraud and committing a series of acts intending to pervert the course of justice
  • Donald Maliska, 62, of Old Brompton Road, London, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Mark Regan, 45, whose address was listed as HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods. He appeared in court by videolink
  • David Price, 52, of Virginia Court, Camden, London, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Ike Obiamiwe, 55, of The Drive, Sutton, Surrey, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Thomas Lynch, 42, of St Benedict's Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods
  • Nigel Blackburn, 60, of Broad Street, Birmingham, accused of controlling criminal property
  • Azhar Mir, 64, of Bufferys Close, Hillfield, Solihull, West Midlands, accused of controlling criminal property

At Bristol Magistrates' Court, all 11 indicated through their lawyers that they would be pleading not guilty to the charges.

A 12th defendant, John Morris, 56, of Cowper Gardens, Enfield, London, did not attend court and a warrant for his arrest without bail was issued by the judge. He is accused of conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

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