Ex-millionaire Stephen Humberstone sentenced for handbags theft

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The Independent Online

A former multi-millionaire was given a 12-month community order today after admitting stealing his sister's designer handbags.

Stephen Humberstone, 51, who attended Harrow with friend Sir Mark Thatcher, took the three Hermes bags, worth almost £15,000, as part of a family row.

The feud had started when his sister, Jane Roshan, refused to move out of a mansion Humberstone owned in Wargrave, Berkshire.

Humberstone took the bags, which he had bought for her as a gift, in a "fit of pique", Jacqueline Carey, defending, told Reading Crown Court.

He had wanted his sister, who was not paying rent, to move out of Loddon Manor as banks intended to repossess the property after the recession hit.

When her brother took the bags, she called police, who arrested Humberstone. He admitted one charge of theft last month, and was sentenced to the community order today.

Humberstone, of Kilburn High Road, north-west London, will also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £200 court costs.

The house was eventually sold, but brother and sister have both now been declared bankrupt.

Judge Nicholas Wood described the theft of the bags, two Birkin Hermes and a Kelly Hermes bag, as an act of "sheer bloody-mindedness" on Humberstone's part that took place in the context of a deteriorating relationship.

The court heard Humberstone and Ms Roshan no longer speak to each other.

The bags were returned to the court by Humberstone and will eventually be given back to Ms Roshan.