Cilla Black died from 'traumatic' head injury following fall, inquest rules
A plot to burgle the Buckinghamshire home of late entertainer Cilla Black has been foiled.
A professionally cut circular hole was discovered in the perimeter fence of her Denham home, ahead of her funeral next week.
Robert Willis, her eldest son, said today: "I cannot believe someone would stoop so low at a time like this. It's inconceivable. Thankfully it was discovered in time."
A statement released by her former publicist Nick Fiveash added: "A plot to burgle the Buckinghamshire home of the late Cilla Black has been foiled today.
"A professionally-cut circular hole was discovered in the perimeter fence of her Denham home ahead of her funeral on Thursday August 20.
"The police were immediately informed, 24-hour security has been increased on the property and all valuable assets including art, jewellery and her personal items have been removed and taken to a secured unit at an unknown location."
Mr Fiveash added: "It looks as if they have been preparing to burgle the house during the funeral.
"The hole in the chain link fence was cut in a very secluded place and it was not there before.
"It's a difficult time, today was the inquest and next will be the funeral.
"Her sons have been really brave and dignified and are carrying on for their mum."
The inquest into her death earlier today was told she died from a "traumatic" head injury following a fall at her home in Spain.
Andre Rebello recorded the official verdict of accidental death at a brief hearing at Liverpool Coroner's Court, calling her a "daughter of Liverpool".
Black's three sons, Ben, Robert and Jack, sat in court for the 15-minute hearing.
Mr Rebello, City of Liverpool coroner, confirmed details of the showbiz star's death at her villa in Spain, on August 1.
He referred to Black using her real name, Priscilla Maria Veronica Willis and in conclusion said the medical cause of death was a traumatic head injury caused by the fall.
Addressing her sons, he added: "She was your mum and her death is a private personal matter and we have all got one mum.
"It is right that you grieve and remember her."
Mr Rebello continued: "Far more important is that you celebrate her life, but your mum was far more than just your mum.
"She was a daughter of Liverpool and she was a celebrity and loved by all in Liverpool and that will be part of her abiding memory and memorial.
"But you will have personal, private memories of her as mum.
"It is those memories of the ordinary things she did, normal family events, the love shared and the love given, that must be her abiding memory, not just for this generation, but for each born in the future."