An accused thief has been cleared of stealing his unique £144,000 designer watch from Formula 1 star Lando Norris during the Euro 2020 final.
The McLaren driver, 23, was held in a headache by an unknown while the Richard Mille watch – one of only five in the world – was ripped from his wrist by another assailant.
He was targeted as he walked to his sports car after England’s heartbreaking loss to Italy on penalties.
Liam Williams, 25, from Bootle, Merseyside, is said to have ripped off the watch leaving its DNA on the racing driver’s arm.
Williams claimed he traveled to London with three friends that day, hoping to ‘stay up’ at Wembley to watch the Euros final as they had no tickets.
Liam Williams, pictured outside Harrow Crown Court, was today cleared of the theft of a £144,000 designer watch from Formula 1 star Lando Norris outside Wembley Stadium
Lando Norris, pictured, was wearing a watch specially commissioned by Richard Mille when he was accosted outside Wembley Stadium after the Euro 2020 final by two men One held him in a headache, while the second stole the watch, pictured
He could not explain why his DNA was found on the racing driver’s left wrist.
Williams was also unable to give police contact details for the three men he traveled with from Liverpool to London and claimed he no longer spoke to them.
He denied and was cleared of the theft after a week-long trial.
The watch known as RM6702 was the only one in the world with a bespoke blue strap for the driver’s wrist, Harrow Crown Court heard.
Although it was never offered for sale, the designer estimates the value at around £144,000.
Mr Norris was broken into the yellow VIP car park at Wembley Stadium after the final.
Williams said he attended a party after the final when one of the men he traveled to in London warned him not to talk about the stolen watch.
“Basically at the party with the guys in London, I was on the balcony, and I was on an Instagram video call chatting about the game with a friend back home and these guys had a watch and blah blah blah and one of the guys heard me and it got a little heated.
“They were like ‘why were you talking about the watch’…I don’t know if they thought I was setting them up.”
Prosecutor Tyrone Silcott said: “So you tell the party you were on Instagram, and you were telling someone to find the watch?”
Williams replied: “Yeah, I was just video calling a friend to talk about footy and we got on the watch and someone overheard me talking about it and an argument happened.”
“Then on Tuesday I could see all these phone calls, a number rang me in the night and at that time I didn’t know who it was but how they were talking to me.
Williams, of Bootle, Merseyside, denied the theft and was found not guilty by a jury after just under two hours of deliberation (Picture: Lando Norris)
“He was the same boy I argued with, he was just saying ‘don’t mention anything about the watch’ to ‘keep your mouth shut and say no more’.
“He kept arguing with me on the phone and the next day he did the same thing and just threatened me and at this point I thought I’m going to have to change my phone number.
“And when I got arrested, I changed my phone number… I was kind of scared of getting threats and stuff,” Williams said.
‘They were threatening me, and they said they knew my name… I was just scared if someone was going to threaten you, you’re going to change that, aren’t you?’
Williams, of Bootle, Merseyside, denied theft and was found not guilty by a jury after just under two hours of deliberation.
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