A court in London has heard how Lando Norris was put in a headlock and robbed of his £144,000 watch after the Euro 2020 final.
According to The Independent, Harrow Crown Court heard how, after Italy's win over England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021, Norris was talking to members of the public next to his McLaren GT sportscar when he was accosted by two men who stole his Richard Mille 67-02 watch – one of only five in the world.
"After attending Wembley Stadium, I was speaking to members of the public and noticed Suspect One and Suspect Two walk around my car, while I was taking to other people," Norris had written in a statement from July 12, 2021.
"I noticed them looking at my car and myself and the first one was keeping his head down and had his right hand near his pocket.
"Suspect One slowly approached me and asked me: 'Is this your car?' I don’t recall exactly what happened, but Suspect One then went behind me and put his right arm around my neck and his left arm under my back.
"Suspect One pulled me into him and pulled me back on my neck, meaning I was facing the sky and I couldn’t see him at this point.
"Suspect One told Suspect Two to grab my watch. He shouted multiple times: 'Grab the watch'. Suspect One was holding me the whole time and Suspect Two was trying to grab the watch. He struggled for a while and then used force to pull the watch off, leaving scratches on my arm.
"When Suspect One had his arm around my neck Suspect Two managed to get the watch off my left wrist and then ran through the pedestrian walkway to Rutherford Way. From there I do not know where they went. My view was blocked.
"Suspect One was pretty close as he put his arm around my neck. Suspect Two was ten feet away and I saw Suspect One for around ten seconds and the interaction was around thirty seconds, not very long."
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Suspect previously unknown to Norris
In a second interview on 12 February, 2022, Norris confirmed that he did not know Suspect Two – named as Liam Williams, 25, of Bootle, Merseyside – and had had no contact with strangers in the stadium due to Covid protocols.
According to The Independent, DNA swabs taken from Norris' left wrist revealed it was 37 million times more likely to be Williams' DNA than that of anyone else.
Analysis of Williams' mobile phone also revealed a journey from Liverpool to Wembley on 11 July, along with a return journey to Liverpool two days later.
On 18 July, Williams was arrested in Liverpool on suspicion of robbery.
Attending a voluntary interview that day, he replied "no comment" to all questions, and repeated those responses in subsequent interviews on 19 July and 12 December, 2021.
On 19 July, Norris had been unable to identify Williams as one of the robbers in an identity line-up.
The trial continues.
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