Police are hunting for a missing £25,000 diamond ring following the conviction of a self-styled gangster who stole it to fund a cocaine addiction.
Jimmy Tippett, 46, was jailed for 30 months last week over the theft of the ring.
Tippett, who has ties to the notorious Kray twins, agreed to buy the jewel from designer Tatiana Sieff, but then led her mother on a merry dance through central London before disappearing with the expensive ring.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard Tippett had been contacted on Facebook by Ms Tieff’s mother Joanna Stoller, and agreed to meet her in Bond Street to complete the purchase of the diamond and emerald ring.
They drove to a Hatton Garden jewellers with another man, but Tippett than claimed he needed to go to the Palm Beach Casino on Berkeley Street in Mayfair to collect the money.
When Ms Stoller went to the toilet Tippett disappeared with the ring, dodging her calls and blocking her on Facebook.
Police eventually caught up with Tippett in Brighton three months later, but the jewel has never been recovered.
In an impact statement, Ms Tieff said she has been treated for depression and agoraphobia in the wake of the theft.
“My mood plummeted, I stopped sleeping and when I did I had terrifying nightmares”, she said.
“Not only did I lose an expensive ring but I feel that I have lost six months of my life, due to my mental health.'
The court heard Tippett carried out a similar scam in 2012, claiming to be buying £100,000 worth of jewellery on behalf of a Saudi businessman but fleeing with the goods after saying he wanted to go outside to photograph them.
Thomas Quinton, mitigating, said Tippett was a “Jekyll and Hyde character” who carried out his latest crime because he had slipped back into cocaine addiction following the death of his father in late 2016.
“There is no doubt, to use the vernacular, that he is a complete coke addict. He is a man with a problem, an addiction to cocaine and so when things go wrong for him he goes back onto the coke.
“And the trigger for that was the death of his father, in late 2016.
“To get money to buy coke in a desperate need for a fix, he ends up doing the same thing that has been done before.”
Tippett is the son of bare knuckle boxer Jimmy Tippett snr – nicknamed the Governor of Lewisham - who counted the Kray twins and Mad Frankie Fraser as family friends.
In his 2014 book Born Gangster, Tippett - the nephew of Freddie Sewell - documented his unusual upbringing, including prison visits to Reggie Kray, and links to the criminal underworld.
He admitted carrying out the theft on Ms Tieff on March 14 last year, but pleaded for a deferred sentence so that he can try to sell the film rights to his life.
However, Judge Deva Pillay refused the application and jailed Tippett for 30 months, telling him: “You are a persistent and experienced fraudster who exploits the weaknesses of others for your own selfish rewards and despite the very eloquent mitigation, I am afraid that the time has come for the public to receive a respite from your actions.”
Tippett, from Brighton, pleaded guilty to theft.