Ex-husband of Formula One heiress appears in court on cocaine charge

The ex-husband of Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone has appeared in court accused of possessing cocaine.

James Stunt, 38, who split from Ecclestone – the daughter of former Formula One tycoon Bernie – in 2017, also faces charges of criminal damage, assault, harassment and theft between August 5 and 7 this year.

He gave waiting photographers the thumbs-up as he arrived at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning wearing a “Bronx Bombers” baseball cap, a dark suit and white shirt with no cufflinks, while clutching a bottle of water.

Stunt stood in the dock wearing a blue facemask to confirm his name and date of birth.

James Stunt court case
Stunt is the ex-husband of Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone (Aaron Chown/PA)

He did not have to give his current address in court after District Judge Angus Hamilton granted an application from his solicitor Alex Chapman.

Helena Robinson, 24, who lives with Stunt, also appeared in court by video-link following a short delay due to technical difficulties charged with possession of cocaine and assaulting a police officer on August 6.

Prosecutor David Burns said the Class A drug was allegedly found at Stunt’s former Knightsbridge townhouse, in central London.

Stunt is also charged with possession of cocaine on August 6 and criminal damage to a custody cell at Charing Cross police station to the value of £183.55 on August 7.

He is further accused of stealing a driving licence from Bijan Burnard, as well as assaulting him and harassing him by posting messages, photographs and videos of the alleged victim on social media on August 5.

James Stunt outside court
Stunt is charged with possession of cocaine, criminal damage, assault, harassment and theft (Aaron Chown/PA)

His lawyer Mr Chapman indicated Stunt would plead not guilty to all five charges, including possession of cocaine, criminal damage, assault, harassment and theft.

Ms Robinson’s solicitor Leo Martin also indicated not guilty pleas.

The judge said the matters were suitable for summary trial at the magistrates’ court, but the pair chose to be tried by a jury at the Crown Court.

Stunt said: “Trial by jury please.”

Robinson was granted unconditional bail, while Stunt was given bail with the single condition he does not contact or attempt to contact Mr Burnard. Asked if he understood, Stunt told the judge: “Yes I do.”

The judge said: “Mr Stunt and Ms Robinson, you have both chosen to have your trial in the Crown Court, so I’m sending your case off today to Southwark Crown Court.

“You will both make your first appearance in exactly four weeks’ time, on December 16.”

Stunt and socialite Ecclestone married in 2011 at a multimillion-pound ceremony at Odescalchi Castle, Rome, when they and 350 guests were entertained by pop stars.

The couple had three children together before their acrimonious divorce after six years of marriage.

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