Justinas Ivaskevicius (James Stunt’s bodyguard) Wiki – Justinas Ivaskevicius (James Stunt’s bodyguard) Biography
The former bodyguard of Petra Ecclestone’s ex-husband, James Stunt, was cleared today of stealing her £ 515,000 yellow diamond.
Justinas Ivaskevicius, 34, was found not guilty of the theft of a 16.18-carat gem from Stunt’s £ 10m Belgravia home in December 2017, and his owner’s life turned into cocaine-addicted chaos.
The £ 515,000 jewelery was part of the relocation, which is said to have been taken three years ago while the security guard was working there during a raid on the luxury home in central London.
Despite being acquitted of theft, Ivaskevicius was found guilty by the Southwark Crown Court jury of possession and use of stolen goods, in relation to the money found by police in his home.
He was also acquitted of producing Class B drugs and having an improper deliberate identity document.
Gold seller and art collector Mr. Stunt, godson of notorious crime family boss Terry Adams, did not know where the safe was at the mews estate in South Eaton Place or who had access to it.
Southwark Crown Court was thought that the staff would be too wary to take anything from Adams’s fearsome reputation.
Mr. Stunt appeared on the witness stand during the three-week trial and said that more valuable items were also taken from his safe during the raid.
He told the judges: ‘I lost the diamonds, some of them were gifts to me. I will not say who is in this court, as he is a deceased member of the royal family. ‘
He also said he lost a Cartier engagement ring he said he gave to his ex-wife.
“It was pretty rich, it threw it in my face,” he said.
Stunt said that the next morning, on December 14, 2017, as soon as he became aware of the theft, he looked inside the case for the first time and noticed that the case had been emptied except for a single wood screw.
He thought he was deliberately left to deliver the ‘You’re ruined’ message.
Missing the diamond, the case contained six 1kg gold ingots, a yellow diamond ring and two blue diamonds, a pink diamond, a large white diamond.
Mr. Stunt told the court: ‘Everything was cleared. There was literally no receipt left.
“Both diplomatic and citizen got my passport.”
The former head of security of Mr. Stunt, who discovered the theft, also testified to the jury.
When Gabriel Lekwara opened the safe on December 14, 2017, he told the court that ‘nothing was there’.
The judges were shown pictures of the case, which was completely empty except for a screw sitting on the back.
Mr. Lekwara told the court that he left his job a few days after Mr. Stunt accused him of theft.
Ivaskevicius was linked to the theft of his engagement ring when he attempted to sell the gem in Antwerp, Europe’s largest diamond trading area, and delivered it by courier.
A seller called the seller, whose name was Sebastian Thomasz Kowal, in a phone call taken from Ivaskevicius’s home address.
However, Ivaskevicius claimed to have nothing to do with the theft and said the seller was looking for a friend who was visiting him at the time.
Attorney Michael Lavers, representing defendant Ivaskevicius, suggested that several personnel may be responsible, including the millionaire’s henchman, who went to Amsterdam the day after the raid.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Lavers said the charges were ‘more like a diamond heist movie’, but ‘simply not added’.
‘There was clearly a degree of drugs and prostitution, I know there was a reluctance from the witnesses to say that word, but let’s call it a match, it was exactly that.
This was an incident that caused Mr. Stunt to lose £ 323,000 from his credit card.
‘That might not be a theft more akin to exploitation or exploitative behaviour, but people had seen this situation developing.’
Mr Lavers told the jury that they may think Stunt’s use of drugs and prostitution made him ‘ripe for exploitation’.
After arresting Ivaskevicious at his home in Fallowfield, Cambridge in May, Flying Squad detectives found up to £80,000 in cash, said to be the proceeds of his criminal activities.
He was also accused of running a cannabis farm and possessing a number of false identities.
Stunt did not cooperate fully with the police investigation because cocaine had made him so paranoid that he believed police were selling details of his divorce to the newspapers.
He had only been living at the property for a few weeks at the time of the theft and was using just the top floor, with many rooms occupied by staff and hangers-on.
Stunt did not know the names of his dozen security guards but if he wanted anything from the safe one would be summoned to bring it to him.
‘If I needed the contents, not to be cavalier, but they were brought to me,’ said the 38-year-old.
Stunt could tell the court he bought the diamond in November 2017, what he paid for it and ‘that’s about it.’
He was seeing up to five women a week and the court heard one was paid with a gold bar – one of several he had in the safe because he ‘didn’t trust banks.’
His cheque books were kept in a beside drawer because, Stunt told the court: ‘I went through them like ladies do conditioner.’
Six months after the raid, on 10 May 2018, the diamond ‘bearing the price tag of £550,000’ turned up at the Gemological Institute of America in New York.
It is currently being held by the Flying Squad for self-keeping and has yet to be returned to Stunt.
Stunt was married to Ms Ecclestone, 31, from 2011 to 2017. The socialite couple had three children together before divorcing in October 2017.
Stunt, who once bragged about having 200 luxury cars, was declared bankrupt at the High Court in June last year.
His £11m luxury cottage in Belgravia was repossessed in March along with two £5m apartments overlooking Chelsea Harbour.
Stunt was once said to be worth an estimated £3billion, but had his assets frozen in 2018.
Mr Stunt had split from Ms Ecclestone – daughter of former F1 tycoon Bernie – just months earlier, and the belongings were not covered by insurance at the time of the incident.
British-Lithuanian Ivaskevicius denied and was cleared of theft and producing a controlled drug, namely cannabis.
But the jury convicted him of two counts of possessing criminal property and four counts of handling stolen goods.
Mr Ivaskevicius, of Cambridgeshire, was remanded in custody ahead of sentence at Southwark Crown Court on 5 January next year.