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Stephanie Beacham on armed burglary raid: I thought I was going to die

Stephanie Beacham was threatened with a two-foot metal bar during an armed raid (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Stephanie Beacham was threatened with a two-foot metal bar during an armed raid (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Stephanie Beacham has said she thought she was “going to die” after an armed raid on her home in west London.

The Dynasty star, 76, was ordered to hand over her money and jewellery after confronting burglar David Wilson in Bayswater on October 25 2022.

Wilson, from Glasgow, threatened the British actress with a two-foot metal bar and was jailed for a total of 10 years and five months in February last year after pleading guilty to the London aggravated burglary and a separate burglary in Sheffield.

Beacham recalled the raid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Tuesday, saying: “There I am, it’s Sunday afternoon, you don’t get burgled on a Sunday afternoon.

“Luckily I was dressed for gardening, which meant I had a really dodgy jumper on and no jewellery, and probably didn’t look very much like moi.

“Anyway, I heard a noise downstairs and I thought ‘Oh well there’s no-one I know, must be I’ve got an assistant (or) a friend’, and I said ‘hello’, and I looked over in the back and there he was the most frightening face with a … crowbar.

“He did have the opportunity to run for the front door, but he didn’t, he leapt up the stairs.

“He leapt up the stairs and then there it was, a crowbar, over my head, and then the corny dialogue, ‘Give me your money, give me your jewellery, don’t look at me, I wish you weren’t here’.

“I thought ‘oh, I think I’m going to die’ and I was an absolute wimp, total wimp, and I gave him my money.

“So, then he said ‘what’s in that handbag’, a lovely Valentino handbag. I was sitting there. I said ‘Nothing. Look’. I gave him everything.

“Then he said ‘Get in there’. Well, I didn’t need telling twice, it was my bathroom, so I got in and locked the door, and I thought, ‘You’ve been such a wimp, you’ve been such a wimp and you haven’t got your phone because you dropped it when you saw him and now he’s got your phone and the other phone is the other side of the bed, (in) the other room’.”

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Jodie Foster, who was in Panic Room (Matt Crossick/PA)

She also thought of what Jodie Foster – as the mother, Meg Altman, in 2002 thriller Panic Room – would do in the situation and picked up a “wobbly sponge” on a plastic handle, and held it by the door.

Beacham added: “Anyway, after a length of time I heard noises and it seemed like he’d gone downstairs, and I got out and I phoned the police.

“Weeks later when I was giving in the report thing, I said ‘I feel almost sorry for him’, and the policeman was incredibly cross with me. He said ‘I heard your 999 call, you thought you were going to die’.”

In February 2023, Southwark Crown Court judge Martin Griffiths told Wilson: “What you did had a traumatic effect on her.

“You violated the safe space of her home causing her to be suspicious of non-existent threats and even the difficulty of learning her lines when she goes for an acting job.”

Beacham had her big break in 1971 horror film The Nightcomers with Marlon Brando and went on to star in Dracula A.D. 1972, And Now The Screaming Starts! and House Of Mortal Sin.

She is best known for Dynasty as glamorous Sable Colby opposite Dame Joan Collins and the spin-off The Colbys.

In Coronation Street, Beacham, as Martha Fraser, had a romance with Ken Barlow (William Roache) in 2009, returning briefly as the character in 2022.