Royal designer Amanda Wakeley on Friday described the moment when two moped bank robbers carried an ax in her throat to steal her £ 30,000 Rolex.
The 57-year-old said that the ordeal of being targeted while walking towards her Porsche was “one of the scariest experiences of my life”.
Connor Murphy, 26, launched himself with an accomplice after first disappointing the tires of the car to stop Miss Wakeley from investigating.
He threatened her with an ax and shouted “give me your watch” as the other man dragged it to the ground in a padlock.
Royal designer Amanda Wakeley, pictured above with model Amber Le Bon, described on Friday the moment when two moped robbers held an ax in her throat to steal her £ 30,000 Rolex (pictured on her wrist)
The couple then tore off his pink gold Rolex Daytona – which he had worn since his father’s death – from his wrist and fled on a scooter.
Six months later, the watch has not been recovered.
Miss Wakeley told the Daily Mail: ‘It was one of the scariest experiences of my life to find a man who loaded me with an ax and then threw me on the ground, but I’m just grateful to be okay and to know that in this al Covid’s time there are so many other people who have much worse things to worry about. ‘
He added: “The watch had a special value for me as I bought it after my father died, in his memory.”
The designer, whose signature evening gowns are the favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, was left with neck pain after the attack on Chelsea Harbor in London on November 13 last year, the Isleworth Crown London Court has heard.
Connor Murphy, pictured left, and Richard Walsh, pictured right, were imprisoned at the Isleworth Crown Court for more than ten years.
Murphy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a robbery while Richard Walsh, 29, of Ladbroke Grove, West London, admitted that he helped plan the crime by researching the value of the online watch.
A third man, who had grabbed Miss Wakeley by the throat, was not caught.
Police would like to speak to Mark Toth, 35, west of London, about the robbery.
The CCTV footage taken at the time shows Miss Wakeley walking towards her Porsche 997 Carrera 4S before stopping when she realizes that one of the tires is on the ground.
Murphy then steps onto the sidewalk on a scooter brandishing the ax while his accomplice grabs the stylist.
The 57-year-old managed to take this photo of the robbers after the robbery
Her partner Hugh Morrison published this message online after the November accident
The thieves dropped the tires of his car, blocking it, before going up and threatening it with an ax (in the photo: Wakeley’s Porsche)
Miss Wakeley’s tires had been deflated repeatedly in the previous days, indicating the pre-planned nature of the attack, Diana Wilson told prosecutors.
The couple were captured after police tracked down a BMW driven on the scene and saw Walsh drive it on the same day as the robbery.
At the time of the attack, his partner Hugh Morrison posted online: ‘Urgent, Amanda Wakeley was kidnapped for her watch this morning while she was getting into the car.
‘The moped assailants had previously disappointed her tires to stop her investigating and they approached her, threatening her with an ax.
‘She is unharmed but naturally shocked.
‘The police have been fantastic, but say this happens 5-6 times a day in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and asked us to share this.
‘There are many witnesses and the police believe that the perpetrators will be caught.
“In the meantime, Amanda just wants to share her experience and hopes everyone stays safe.”
Andrew Caird of the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘This was a targeted and terrifying robbery in broad daylight.
One defendant brandished an ax against the victim and the other put it in a header before ripping off the Rolex watch and fleeing.
The prosecution included strong CCTV cameras and telephone evidence that included images of the same Rolex watch stolen from the victim on Walsh’s phone. “
Witnesses who rushed to the aid of the designer said that she had been shaking on the ground after the attack.
The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex are both big fans of Wakeley’s projects and have repeatedly warned them of formal occasions
Lucy Daniels, defending Murphy, said he intended to use the stolen watch to pay off a drug debt and was specifically told to target Miss Wakeley.
Murphy was imprisoned for six years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a robbery and having an offensive weapon, and Walsh was given four years and nine months after admitting his role in the robbery.
Judge Simon Davis, who sentenced the duo on Thursday, described the robbery as a “carefully planned and organized robbery”.
Miss Wakeley added: ‘I am so grateful to the police for all they did in finding these men who attacked and persecuted me.
‘The fact that two of them are behind bars in good news. I also sincerely hope that they will find and imprison the third attacker. “
The designer without formal training who made herself known with the “overalls” of Princess Diana
Amanda Wakeley, pictured this summer
Amanda Wakeley was raised in Chester, the daughter of a prominent surgeon, Sir John Wakeley.
He never had formal training, but from his early childhood he was breaking into his toilet box and altering the contents.
In his college, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, he made extra money by running clothes for his friends, and his first job, at 16, was working in a men’s clothing boutique in Chester.
He began his career in design with a made-to-order collection, which he met in his Chelsea studio: “There hasn’t been much financial support, just a collection of samples,” he said later.
However, her elegant styles soon brought her to the attention of Princess Diana.
The patronage of the princess made Amanda’s name and, notoriously, when Diana resigned from public life in 1993, she did so wearing a bottle green Wakeley dress.
Amanda’s future should have been secured; unfortunately, he had his marital difficulties to face.
By 1998, his marriage to Australian real estate developer Neil Gillon had ended, but his involvement in his activities was not.
Two years later he sold his majority stake to Richard Caring, with Amanda serving as creative director.
After five years in 2005, Caring in turn sold the brand to the Saudi billionaire Walid Juffali.
And in 2008, Juffali sold it to former city merchant Jason Granite. Less than a week later, Amanda resigned.
Princess Diana to Amanda Wakeley in 1993 and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011
Fortunately, by this point, Amanda had already fallen in love with Hugh Morrison, a strategic business consultant.
Amanda attributes to Hugh the fact that, just a month after losing her business of the same name, an agreement was planned to regain control.
In April 2009, Amanda had returned to the driver’s seat as owner and creative director.
He hadn’t looked back since then, with stars like Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet and Angelina Jolie shining on the red carpet with Amanda’s liquid silks.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Rania of Jordan also wore her formal engagement label and countless brides chose to wear Wakeley down the hall.
More recently, he has somehow changed direction from supplier of evening dresses to luxury lifestyle brand and has started to attract a sort of edgy customer, including Nicole Scherzinger and J-Lo, who wore the Golden head to head Wakeley Globe of 2015.
Previously published in Your magazine.