Trelise Cooper burglary: Man pleads guilty, cake retailer and a florist continue to deny allegations

One of a group of people charged over a $500,000 high-end couture burglary at world famous fashion designer Dame Trelise Cooper’s styling room has pleaded guilty.

Only “one lonely hanger” was left from Cooper’s entire 2021 spring and summer samples after the break-in at her office in Newmarket last October. Some 1800 samples were taken, Cooper said at the time.

Today, the 42-year-old man and two of his co-accused appeared in the Auckland District Court before Judge Eddie Paul.

He pleaded guilty to three charges, including burglary and a representative charge of obtaining by deception, but still cannot be named after his lawyer Katrina Hamblin sought continued name suppression.

Judge Paul is set to deliver his decision on name suppression for the man and a 45-year-old cake decorator later this afternoon.

The cake retailer and a florist, who can now be named as Andrea Nicole Edwards after suppression lapsed, continue to deny their charges and are due to stand trial next year.

Edwards, 46, and the cake decorator each face a charge of receiving stolen property.

The man, who earlier argued for suppression because he was “well-known” in the TV industry, is due to be sentenced in late September.

Speaking to the Herald after the break-in, Cooper said access was gained into the styling room through a vent in an electrical room.

The arrests of the trio came after police conducted a search of a property in central Auckland last November.

During the search, police said they recovered “a significant amount” of the clothing which was returned to Cooper. However, in March the court heard about three-quarters of the missing clothing was still unaccounted for.

Cooper said it was the first time her head office had been burgled in 25 years, although someone unsuccessfully tried to break into the building 14 years ago.

The building was alarmed and monitored by security guards but did not have CCTV, which Cooper said were being installed after the fashion crime.

A fourth person, a 26-year-old woman, was charged in May with allegedly receiving stolen Trelise Cooper-branded clothing.

The court heard today social media rumours and gossip of “an inside job” were false.

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