Man who burgled Simon Cowell's home before killing motorcyclist to be sentenced

Updated: 

ITV Gala - Red Carpet Arrivals

A repeat offender who broke into Simon Cowell's house days before killing a motorcyclist is to be sentenced for burgling almost £1 million of jewellery from the music mogul's home.

Darren February hit Kenneth Baldwin, a father, with a car not far from the X Factor supremo's west London home little more than a week after the December 2015 burglary.

The 33-year-old was last year sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving.

At the time of the Holland Park break-in, he was on licence for other burglary and public order offences, police said.

February, who was 12 when he was first convicted of a criminal offence and has 37 previous convictions for burglary, routinely targeted the wealthy areas of Kensington and Bayswater which provided "rich pickings", his trial heard.

Cowell, his partner Lauren Silverman, and their son Eric, aged two at the time, were asleep upstairs during the raid.

February's DNA was found on gloves dropped on his escape from the house, and on a handprint on a wall at the property, where the entertainment boss has lived for 10 years.

The serial burglar was identified by a security worker as he fled, and later by police who were aware of his "prolific" sprees.

He stole £950,000 of jewellery from the four-floor five-bed house, most of which has not been recovered, as well as two passports.

His defence team argued that he had been caught up in a case of mistaken identity, but February did not provide an alibi and opted not to give evidence.

On one of the days he refused to leave prison to go to court and the trial went ahead in his absence.

February, described by the lead officer in the case as "a danger to society", will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court.