Jewel thief faces years in jail for terrifying knifepoint raid of £630,000 worth of gems from famous ‘Pearl Queen’ designer whose clients include Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Halle Berry
- Ricky Gray robbed Christianne Douglas at her store, Coleman Douglas Pearls
- Mrs Douglas was forced into her basement where she kept stones and valuables
- Gray ordered Mrs Douglas to fill up three large bags with pearls worth £630,000
- He stole £250,000 worth of diamonds from the founder of Petplan insurance
An armed robber who held a celebrity designer known as the ‘pearl queen’ at knifepoint before stealing £630,000 worth of gems is facing years behind bars.
Ricky Gray robbed Christianne Douglas’s store Coleman Douglas Pearls, in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge.
Mrs Douglas – whose clients include Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Halle Berry – was forced into her basement where she kept her stones and valuables.
Gray ordered Mrs Douglas to fill up three large bags with pearls worth £630,000 before fleeing the scene on July 9, 2019.
In November 2012, Gray was jailed for eight years after he stole some £250,000 of diamonds from the founder of Petplan, Patsy Bloom, in a robbery at her £3.5million London home.
Ricky Gray robbed Christianne Douglas’s store Coleman Douglas Pearls, in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge
Princess Anne visited Mrs Douglas’s London showroom in her capacity as Patron of UK Fashion Exports
Mrs Douglas sells pearls and bespoke jewellery, and her designs have featured in Hollywood movies including the 2005 film Match Point, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson.
Her pearls, hand-sourced from across the world, including in Japan and French Polynesia, have also featured in Vogue, Tatler and Vanity Fair.
Princess Anne visited her London showroom in her capacity as Patron of UK Fashion Exports, and her jewellery has also graced the pages of Vogue, Tatler and Vanity Fair.
Prosecutor Misba Majid told the court how Gray dropped a bag of jewellery as he fled the scene.
‘On July 9 at around 7pm Mr Gray entered the store. It was seen on CCTV that he had gone over to a cabinet. He asked to look at an item.
‘It is at that point he used a knife and threatened the victim and asked her to give him money from the safe. She explained there was no money only card transactions took place.
‘He asked her to fill three large bags up with jewellery. He was assisted by a staff member. He left the jewellery store. In his attempt to flee he dropped one bag of jewellery.’
The court was told how Gray had robbed businesswoman Patsy Bloom in 2012.
Gray robbed Christianne Douglas’s store Coleman Douglas Pearls, in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge
He screamed, ‘Give me everything you’ve got,’ before frogmarching Ms Bloom to the safe in her £3.5million home overlooking London’s Regent’s Park.
Gray escaped with a £250,000 haul, including a £68,000 pair of 18-carat white gold earrings and a £19,000 diamond pendant after the raid in May that year.
Ms Bloom, who netted £16million with the sale of animal insurer Petplan, was left ‘extremely shaken’ after the raid.
Gray, who is currently being held at Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, admitted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon and will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 1 February.
He also faces sentence for an unrelated robbery.
He has previous convictions for robbery, theft, aggravated burglary and four counts of burglary.
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