Rolex robbers jailed for killing self-made millionaire for the sake of his €27,790 watch
A gang of robbers have been jailed for killing a self-made millionaire in his own home for the sake of his Rolex watch.
Gambling addict Miltiades Papadopoulos, also known as Milton, 41, was found dead at his luxury house in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, on October 22 last year.
He had been trussed up and smothered to death before the robbers ransacked his home, tearing apart sofa cushions and spraying the naked body with foam stuffing as they searched for his hidden cash.
Mr Papadopoulos's body was discovered after his business manager raised the alarm. The only item that police could confirm was missing was his £20,000 Rolex.
The court heard the robbers had identified Milton as a target through a mysterious Polish Mr Big called Lucasz who supplied the victim with escort girls who in turn reported back on his wealth.
On the anniversary of the victim's death, Polish national Sebastian Kimel, 40, was found guilty of his murder while countrymen Arkadiusz Szarkowski, 42, and Krzysztof Kasza, 42, were convicted of manslaughter at the Old Bailey.
They were all convicted of conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to falsely imprison.
Kimel, from Streatham, south London, was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years.
Szarkowski, from Hornchurch, Essex, and Kasza, from Wood Green, north London, were both jailed for 13 years.
The jury was not told that a fourth suspected killer, Wojciech Ryniak, was not in the dock because he had himself been killed during another robbery in Oxfordshire earlier this year.
All the defendants had previous convictions in their home country, the court heard.
Kasza, who went by the alias Turlej in the UK, has two European Arrest Warrants for crimes involving house breaking, extortion and using false currency but this could also only be reported at the conclusion of the trial.
Sentencing, Judge Mark Lucraft QC said the victim had been a "troubled soul" in the last few years of his life.
He said the robbery had taken "extensive planning" and there had been great efforts after Mr Papadopoulos's death to remove all traces that might lead back to the killers.
They were caught thanks to "painstaking and diligent police work" and the quick thinking of a neighbour who photographed the defendant's borrowed van with stolen plates parked outside Mr Papadopoulos's house.
Earlier, Mr Papadopoulos's mother Androulla broke down in tears as a family impact statement was read out.
In it, she spoke of their grief at losing the man they called "secret Santa" for his kindness and generosity to all who knew him.
She wrote: "When we lost Milton we felt without him there was no life. We think about him every day.
"He was the kindest person the world has ever known. Every minute of every day and every night we miss him."
She described him as an intelligent man who had been careful with his money and had built up his business empire from scratch.
Mr Papadopoulos had helped his sister's family financially as his brother-in-law battled cancer and he regarded his Porsche and miniature schnauzer dog Max as his "pride and joy".
Before his murder, he had been trying to deal with his addictions, but was set back by learning that his former fiancee had got engaged and was expecting a baby.