September 25

Hunt for Pink Panther jewel thief believed to be behind £2m London

In 2006 he was sentenced to 21 months in Hawaii, but was released eight months late, with his lawyer insisting it was “highly unlikely he will need to commit other crimes”.Three years later he was detained in Monaco on suspicion of casing out a jewellery store.  At the time he was wearing a watch worth an estimated £160,000.He was jailed in Monaco, but was released several months later and subsequently disappeared. Last year Scotland Yard issued pictures of two men they said they wanted to question in connection with the raid, but they have now said they believe one of the men is Osmakcic, and they have reissued his picture in a fresh attempt to solve the case. A vivid yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring encased in smaller oval and round-shaped diamondsCredit:Metropolitan Police Vinko Osmakcic AKA Juro Markelic was arrested in Las Vegas  Seven months later Osmakcic was arrested after being spotted by an undercover officer at a jewellery trade fair in Las Vegas. A cushion-shaped diamond ring The Graff jewellery store in Mayfair was targeted by the Pink Panther gangCredit:Getty Images An emerald-cut diamond ring with purple and pink stones, and four pear-shaped diamonds Vinko Osmakcic AKA Juro Markelic was arrested in Monaco in 2009 In 2003 the gang was thought to have pulled off a £23 million raid at the Graff jewellery store in London.In 2010 Osmakcic, who is described as speaking in heavily accented English, was suspected of being part of a gang of four who stole a necklace worth £1 million from a jewellery store in Las Vegas. Appeal to trace diamond thief https://t.co/ZCDVYxIajV pic.twitter.com/FWXwYMyAo9— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 9, 2018 Detective Sergeant Chris Taylor, of Kensington and Chelsea CID, said: “This was a well-planned and audacious theft committed in the middle of a busy art fair.”We are re-releasing the image of Mr Osmakcic in an attempt to trace him. It is highly likely that Mr Osmakcic may be out of the UK, possibly in Europe.”He may also be known by the following name Vinko Tomic or Juro Markelic.”DS Taylor added: “I am asking anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact police or Crimestoppers so we can bring him to justice.” Vinko Osmakcic AKA Juro Markelic was arrested in Monaco in 2009 A cushion-shaped diamond ringCredit:Metropolitan Police One of the world’s most wanted jewel thieves and the suspected ringleader of the so-called Pink Panther Network is being sought by police in connection with a £2 million diamond heist in London.Vinko Osmakcic, a Croatian national, who uses a number of aliases has been named as a suspect in the theft of three rings from an art fair at the Royal Hospital Chelsea last July.Osmakcic is believed to be the ringleader of the organised international crime network which has stolen £300 million worth of gems and jewellery around the world over the last three decades.The three diamond rings were taken from a cabinet at the Masterpiece London 2017 event at around 5.30pm on July 4th last year.The stolen items included a cushion-shaped diamond ring, a yellow diamond ring encased in a smaller oval and round-shaped diamond and an emerald-cut diamond ring with pink and purple stones, and four pear-shaped diamonds. The bands on all three rings are diamond-encrusted. The Pink Panther gang has been linked to a string of audacious raids around the globe dating back to the early 1990s, when they were thought to operate out of Japan.In 1992 they were suspected of stealing a diamond worth half a million pounds from an international jewellery show in Hong Kong.But they were also linked to similar raids in Thailand, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Monaco and Hawaii. A vivid yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring encased in smaller oval and round-shaped diamonds He was charged with theft, but maintained his innocence claiming he was a self employed chef with an income of a £1,000 a month.In March 2004 he pleaded guilty to theft and after cutting a deal with prosecutors was sentenced to one year in prison.But wanted for a string of other offences, the authorities in California applied for his extradition, where he was charged with the theft of a £35,000 worth of gems.He again pleaded guilty but while he was serving his sentence became the subject of an extradition application from the authorities in Hawaii. An emerald-cut diamond ring with purple and pink stones, and four pear-shaped diamondsCredit:Metropolitan Police Vinko Osmakcic AKA Juro Markelic was arrested in Las Vegas  As part of his defence, Osmakcic claimed he had been a soldier in the Bosnian war, but had turned to crime in order to support his displaced family.In a letter to the judge, he wrote: “In 1992 my village was attacked and fully destroyed. Everybody from my family was in the street overnight.”The only hope I had was to leave my country and do whatever it took to help my family survive … I am not looking for any excuses for what I did. I just wanted to explain my wrongful doings … I hope you honor may understand my situation.” The Graff jewellery store in Mayfair was targeted by the Pink Panther gang Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

September 25

Psychotic Army cadet brutally killed university lecturer because of voices in his

Helpless Dr Hounsome repeatedly asked “why?” and the boy could only respond with “sorry”.Mr Hounsome had several defensive wounds and his front door key was found underneath his body.Ms Maylin said the boy said he started hearing voices about a year before but never told anyone about it.Over time the voices – which adopted the accent of an Eastern European man – became “more manic, aggressive and demanding”, escalating from telling him to kill animals to carrying out attacks on random people, the court heard.She told the court the boy said: “Something in my head kept telling me to do it. I didn’t want to do it.”I tried to push myself away but I ended up doing it. I’m so sorry.”Sentencing him to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act, Mr Justice Neil Garnham said: “You killed him in the course of a vicious and ferocious attack.”The evidence suggests you are riven with remorse for what you have done.”I have no doubt that you were at the time of the attack, and that you remain, highly dangerous.”Without medication there’s a real risk of a similar event in the future.” A psychotic Army cadet “brutally” killed a university lecturer because of voices in his head, a court heard.The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been detained in a psychiatric hospital indefinitely for the “sustained and prolonged attack” against Dr Barry Hounsome, who he murdered in his home in Gosport, Hampshire, in October last year.The 54-year-old academic, who previously worked at Southampton and Bangor universities, researched dementia and Parkinson’s disease.The teenager was due to stand trial for murder on Wednesday at Winchester Crown Court.But the prosecution instead accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility after he was diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia.Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the court: “This was a sustained and prolonged attack. He said voices in his head had been telling him to kill.”The night before the incident the voice was telling him to kill someone and that morning, it was Barry.”During the attack Mr Hounsome – who lived with his Russian wife Natalia, a senior lecturer in global health economics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School – tried to escape but the boy “pulled him back and forced him to the floor”, the court heard.Gruesome details of the attack were revealed for the first time in court yesterday, including the fact the teenager stabbed Dr Hounsome 35 times and cracked his skull open before drilling his “exposed” brain. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more