After a four-day trial, Stanley Elliott has been found guilty of stealing more than £28,000 from the Buzz Bingo club in Basingstoke in January 2020.
Elliott carried out the bingo burglary together with Geoffrey Hibbert early in the morning of January 9, 2020. During the trial it was revealed that the pair made their way through the roof space and then descended through ceiling tiles into the room next to where the money was kept.
CCTV footage showed the men placing money into bags and then making their escape through a fire escape just after 2am. They made off with a total of £28,555.
A month after the burglary, a pink iPhone was found in the roof space and given to the police. The phone contained Hibbert’s Apple ID, family photos, and text messages.
Speaking after Elliott was convicted, Detective Constable Thomas Bailey said:
“Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Elliott maintained his not guilty stance to the end. This jury’s verdict means that cash seized from his address, matching a portion of that stolen from Buzz Bingo in 2020, can now be returned to its rightful owner. Our officers were committed and determined to investigate this burglary offence fully and I hope this court result shows the public that we leave no stone unturned when it comes to bringing justice to victims of all crimes. We will ensure that we relentlessly pursue those who cause harm in our communities and I hope the result reassures people that we take reports of burglary incredibly seriously.”
Elliott, who is 54 years old and from Sherborne St John, is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum of 34 years for the murder of Geoffrey and Michelle Hibbert. He was convicted of stabbing them to death on June 20, 2021 at their home in South Ham.
He denied both counts of murder but was convicted after a four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 4 March. Officers were called to the Hibberts’ home and found their bodies at the scene. A post-mortem determined that they both died of multiple stab wounds.
The couple had asked Elliott to babysit their child so that they could enjoy a night out together. He then murdered them upon their return home that evening. During the trial it was revealed that Mrs Hibbert had phoned the police and named Elliott as her attacker.
During the course of the investigation, paperwork blaming Elliott for the Buzz Bingo burglary was found in the Hibberts’ dustbin.
The trial revealed text messages between Mr Hibbert and Elliott in which they appear to discuss the burglary plan. The messages included photos of the inside of the venue, which Elliott claimed he had as he was planning to install a new alarm.
Police uncovered several items inside Elliott’s home including a balaclava-like black hat, a rucksack full of coins and £500 of cash. He was sentenced to 18 years for the burglary, which he will serve concurrently with the life sentence.
The club that Elliott and Hibbert targeted is located in the West Ham Leisure Park. It offers visitors bingo, slots, food and drink. The club is open seven days a week, including for 24 hours on Fridays. There are several games each day with some prizes worth hundreds of pounds and ticket prices starting at just £3.
Recently, the club reduced its Main Event touchscreen and paper ticket prices to just £5. Furthermore, the Main Events now take place from 1pm to 2:35pm on weekdays and 1:30pm to 3:05pm on weekends. The evening Main Events take place from 7:30pm to 9:05pm, but those who arrive at 7pm can play two Early Bird pages at no extra cost.
Of course, it is also possible to read our Buzz Bingo review and enjoy all perks that the bingo site has to offer online and you won’t even have to crawl through the roof space to get there.