The Russian mistress of a UK businessman had his daughter and wife tied up as part of a ‘revenge robbery’ on his home after they split up.
Karine Solloway masterminded the break-in at Robert McKenrick’s Alderley Edge home after lending him up to £850,000 during their five-year affair.
Mr McKenrick’s wife Priya and her daughter Scarlett, who was 17 at the time, were subjected to a four-hour ordeal after the men burst in as they were watching The Apprentice in October last year.
The robbers made off with around £100,000 worth of jewellery and designer goods after the family were bound with cable ties, had their eyes and ears covered and were threatened.
Karine Solloway (left) ordered hired thugs to carry out a raid on the home of her former lover Robert McKenrick (right) after they split up and he still owed her money
Solloway, 58, of London, was today found guilty of conspiracy to rob at Chester Crown Court.
Ex-soldier Paul Prior, who she brought in for the raid, admitted the same charge at a previous hearing. Another robber Kimpton Mativenga, 31, of St Albans, was convicted.
The court was told Mr McKendrick had business interests, including rice growing, in Sierra Leone and Liberia – but one venture resulted in financial dispute and legal proceedings, meaning his worldwide assets were frozen.
The court heard that, during their affair, Solloway had loaned Mr McKenrick a ‘substantial’ sum of money – estimated at up to £850,000 – to pay his rapidly-rising legal costs.
Mr McKenrick ended their affair in 2013, after which Solloway became ‘obsessed’ with getting her money back, prosecutor Andrew Ford said.
‘It was bitter,’ he added. ‘She says he promised her children, and that he would leave his wife for her.’
Solloway has now been found guilty of ordering a ‘revenge burglary’ on her ex-lover’s home
In September last year, Solloway hired ex-soldier Prior, who she had met ‘by chance’ through friends, to carry out the robbery at Mr McKenrick’s house. He then brought in two other men as hired ‘muscle’, the court heard..
Prior and one other man pleaded guilty in an earlier hearing to conspiracy to rob, and were remanded in custody.
Solloway was in Moscow at the time of the incident, but the jury were shown transcripts of messages between her and Prior in the days following the robbery, where they discussed the valuation and sale of jewellery.
At one point, Solloway sent Prior a message that said: ‘Do you think the deputy made a connection with me?’. It is thought she used the word deputy to mean Mrs McKenrick.
Both Solloway and Mativenga wept as they were taken to the cells. They and Prior are expected to get jail terms when they are sentenced next month.
Kimpton Mativenga carried out the raid and faces jail when he returns to court for sentencing
Speaking after the hearing, Priya and Robert McKendrick said the verdicts had come as a ‘massive relief’.
‘It does restore your faith in the justice system,’ Mrs McKenrick said. ‘The police have been fantastic and supported us throughout it all. It is the end of the most horrible year.’
She said her daughter Scarlett, who endured the ordeal alongside her, has been ‘amazing’.
‘She managed to get three As in her A-levels and go on the university despite everything,’ she said. ‘It has been a very tough year and it is a huge relief that it is finally over.
‘The kids will be over the moon when they hear this. My son was devastated because he felt like he should have been there to protect us, but in the end I’m glad he wasn’t there.
‘I think it was only because Scarlett and I kept our heads that it wasn’t worse.’
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