Dylan Harvey boss cleared of fraud charges

Michael Hunt

Toby Whittaker, whose Dylan Harvey Residential business collapsed last year owing creditors £6.5m, has been cleared of faking burglar alarm records and lying to an insurance claims investigator after a burglary at his home.

Whittaker, 32, was cleared of allegations he lied to claim insurance on a stolen £120,000 Rolex watch, which was among £400,000 of goods burgled from his mansion in December 2008.

The property developer was accused of conspiring with Stefan Halenko, director of Blackburn Alarms, to produce a false burglar alarm record to show his alarm had been set at the time of the raid.

He was also charged with fraud, with the prosecution claiming he lied about keeping an expensive Rolex watch in a safe.

A jury was told by Whittaker's defence barrister, David Turner QC, that Halenko had acted alone to 'ingratiate' himself with his best client.

Halenko had already admitted to producing the false burglar alarm records and will be sentenced at a later date.

Whittaker gave evidence at Preston Crown Court last week and said his family had received kidnap threats prior to the burglary.

The court heard that Whittaker turned to Halenko, who he had a £2m contract with for his property portfolio, which represented a 90% of the company's business.

A total of eight security cameras, amongst other security measures, were installed and Whittaker also took out a £5,000-a-year home insurance policy arranged through family broker John Meadows.

It was later discovered that the alarm did not even need to be set for Whittaker's home insurance policy to cover his losses.

In February this year Whittaker was beaten up and his family threatened when six men robbed their £1.5m home in Read, near Blackburn.

The armed gang forced his wife and their four children to hide under a dining table while he was assaulted before the men fled with jewellery. The robbers used Whittaker's £60,000 Audi Q7 4×4 car for their getaway.

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