A WEALTHY East Lancashire businessman has been cleared of faking burglar alarm records and lying to an insurance claims investigator after a burglary at his home.

A jury found 32-year-old Toby Whittaker, of Back Lane, Read, not guilty of conspiracy to defraud and not guilty of fraud in a majority verdict.

Mr Whittaker, the managing director of buy-to-let property brokers Dylan Harvey, was accused of conspiring with Stefan Halenko, of Blackburn Alarms, to produce a false burglar alarm record to show his alarm had been set at the time of the £400,000 raid in December 2008.

He was also charged with fraud, with the prosecution claiming he lied about keeping a £120,000 Rolex watch in a safe.

Halenko had already admitted to producing the false burglar alarm records and will be sentenced at a later date.

Mr Whittaker's defence barrister, David Turner QC, told the jury Halenko had acted alone to 'ingratiate' himself with his best client.

The court had heard Mr Whittaker had received pictures of his children’s schools and kidnap threats in the post.

His father, accountant and solicitor were also targets, so he decided to upgrade his home security with a £25,000 top-of-the range system.

Mr Whittaker turned to Halenko, director of Blackburn Alarms, with whom he had a £2m contract for his property portfolio, representing 90 per cent of the company's business.

Eight CCTV cameras, motion detectors and panic buttons were installed and the property mogul also took out a £5,000-a-year home insurance policy arranged through family broker John Meadows.

It was later discovered that the alarm did not even need to be set for Mr Whittaker's home insurance policy to cover his losses.