Hammer-wielding burglar threatened Stephanie Beacham during terrifying break-in but says he didn’t know £750,000 home was hers
- Stephanie Beacham, 75, was left shaking after break-in at her west London home
- The 56-year-old thief admitted aggravated burglary at Southwark Crown Court
Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham came face to face with a hammer-wielding burglar during a terrifying robbery, a court was told.
The 75-year-old actress was left shaking after David Wilson battered his way into her £750,000 home, days after he was freed from prison.
New details about the daylight raid can be revealed after the 56-year-old thief admitted aggravated burglary this week.
Wilson claimed the raid was ‘unplanned’, suggesting he did not know whose home he was breaking into until he encountered the shocked actress.
Stephanie Beacham, 75, was was left shaking after a burglar battered his way into her £750,000 home, days after he was freed from prison.
The 75-year-old star is said to have disturbed him as he was ransacking her home in Bayswater, west London, at around 2pm last September 25.
Wilson then threatened the star, demanding money and jewellery as he menaced her with the hammer.
David Wilson (pictured) claimed the raid was ‘unplanned’, suggesting he did not know whose home he was breaking into until he encountered the shocked actress.
He then ordered her to go to another room and shut the door while he carried on rifling through her belongings.
For 20 minutes, she waited helplessly as the thief grabbed various items of jewellery, her purse, mobile phone, cheque book and her keys before leaving the property – and her – unharmed.
When police arrived later, they described the British actress, who found fame as Sable Colby in the 1980s US soap opera, as profoundly shaken.
On Wednesday, Wilson admitted aggravated burglary at Southwark Crown Court, but Claire Mawer, defending, said: ‘The aggravated burglary in relation to Beacham was unplanned.’
She added: ‘He has experienced long-term difficulties with drug addiction.’
Wilson also admitted carrying out an earlier unrelated burglary when he targeted a pensioner in Sheffield, stealing a snooker championship medal, a step ladder and a mattress in May last year.
The guilty pleas mean Ms Beacham will be spared from having to give evidence at a trial which had been due to take place later this month.
The actress has not spoken openly about her frightening ordeal but in a previous hearing prosecutor Gregor McKinley described the ‘vulnerability of the victim’.
Stephanie Beacham (left), as Sable Colby in the 1980s Dynasty series, waited helplessly as the thief grabbed various items of jewellery, her purse, mobile phone, cheque book and her keys before leaving the property
The defendant, who appeared via videolink from Wandsworth prison, spoke only to confirm his name and enter the pleas on Wednesday.
It can now be revealed that Wilson is a prolific burglar with a long criminal history who had only just been released early from prison when he targeted Ms Beacham.
In February 2021 he was jailed for three years for committing two residential burglaries in York over nine days, stealing a large amount of jewellery, handbags and electrical items.
At the time he was charged with those offences, Wilson was already serving a prison sentence for previous burglaries.
Investigator Dave Pegg, said at the time: ‘Wilson has caused great distress to his victims and deserves every second of his sentence.’
The career criminal has spent much of his adult life in prison.
By January 2007 – when he was jailed for two years for yet more burglaries in York – Wilson had already spent 13 years in jail for successive offences.
For a time he worked as a market trader and then was employed at a Nestle factory in York.
But when he lost his job and his marriage broke down, Wilson started stealing again.
He was so incompetent he left DNA or fingerprints at three houses and went straight back to prison, York Crown Court was told.
Police described the British actress, who found fame as Sable Colby in the 1980s US soap opera, as profoundly shaken.
In one raid, he used a fence post to smash through a patio door to steal a brooch, which he later gifted to his wife when she visited him in prison.
Judge Paul Hoffman told him in 2007: ‘For three years, when you had the support of your loyal wife, you went straight. But when things got tough in the domestic sense and you lost your job, you, as you frankly said, returned to what you know best.’
This week Judge Martin Griffith adjourned the case for sentencing next month.
A spokesman for Ms Beacham declined to comment on the case yesterday.
During the 1980s, she achieved global stardom with her role in Dynasty, featuring in 23 episodes of the US drama opposite Joan Collins and John Forsythe.
She also appeared in 49 episodes of Dynasty spin-off show, The Colbys.
The Golden Globe-nominated star subsequently starred in BBC drama Tenko and has made guest appearances in shows including Bad Girls and Casualty.
Most recently she has returned as Ken Barlow’s love interest in Coronation Street, following a successful stint on the ITV soap in 2009.
Last month Ms Beacham said working had kept her young: ‘I don’t think actors retire. We just carry on until we can’t do it anymore. Acting, with all its challenges, keeps me young.’
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