A swindler has demanded cash from racer Craig Jones' mum for a helmet stolen from her dead son.
When Yvonne Jones refused to pay, the swindler told the grieving mum: 'Craig is better off dead than near you.'
Friends of Mrs Jones spotted the helmet on eBay days after Craig’s fatal World Supersport crash at Brands Hatch on August 3. They immediately recognised the distinctive Arai, painted to resemble a stormtrooper's helmet from the Star Wars films, as a one-off stolen from Craig in a break-in.
Mrs Jones, 48, emailed the seller asking for the Arai’s return to complete her collection of every helmet Craig ever raced in. When she refused demands for payment, she received a barrage of abuse.
Now she is so disgusted by the ordeal she no longer wants the helmet. "It's Craig's helmet but this man has defiled it because of what he's been saying and doing," she said.
Two attempted auctions have been sabotaged with phoney bids from Craig’s fans but Mrs Jones fears the seller will try again. "The seller is below contempt,” she added.
She said eBay had refused to act unless contacted by the police, while a police officer had advised an investigation would be unlikely to succeed because the seller appeared to be based overseas.
Rich-Art Concepts, the custom painting firm that created the unique design and whose name appears on the helmet, confirmed only one had been made. Chief designer Richard Stevens said: "The only explanation I can see is that it has come into someone's hands and they have decided to capitalise on Craig's misfortune."
EBay said in a statement: 'As soon as we are notified by the police of an illegal item for sale on the site, we act immediately to remove it.'
See the listing here: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Arai-RX7-with-RICH-Art-Contepts-Craig-Jones-JONESY-18_W0QQitemZ120291842778QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120291842778&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A7&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318