AN Ellesmere Port man has admitted burgling the country house of the Duke of Westminster and stealing £42k of watches.

Matthew Paul Turner, 24, of Cartmel Drive, Great Sutton, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to stealing three watches from a bedroom at Eaton Hall, in an offence dated between August 7 and August 31, 2022.

He entered the plea at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, November 24, and also admitted stealing £60 of cash after sneaking in to Top Gear Tyres on Rosscliffe Road, Ellesmere Port on December 23, 2022.

One of the watches, a £30,000 Cartier London Tank JC wristwatch, belonged to the Duke of Westminster Hugh Grosvenor, court documents showed.

The other two watches, totalling £12,000 in value, were a Panerai Luminor Marina watch and a Breitling watch.

Magistrates decided the case fell out of their sentencing powers and Turner is to be sentenced at Chester Crown Court on December 22. He was released on unconditional bail.

Nathan Elliott, 30, of Faraday Road, Whitby, Ellesmere Port, entered a not guilty plea to handling stolen goods between August 7 and November 23, namely a £30,000 Cartier London Tank JC wristwatch belonging to Hugh Grosvenor. He will face a plea and trial preparation hearing at Chester Crown Court on December 22.