When an eight-year-old girl decided to enter a competition for a garden climbing frame and swing set, she had no idea that she would win the second prize. Neither did she guess for one minute that it would lead on to breaking one of the most puzzling crimes in recent history. Add to that the fact that this girl was the daughter of none other than Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and you have an amazing story.
In 2002 an armed raid on a Belsize Park jeweller netted the two robbers a haul of cut diamonds to the value of £2.4 million. Although the men were later caught, the proceeds of the robbery were never recovered. During their trial each man accused the other of having taken the bag containing the diamonds from their hideout.
Last month, when young Apple Martin saw the competition on a morning TV programme, she asked her mother if she could text in to try to win the prize. Thinking that it would be good experience for the child, Gwyneth agreed, thinking that Apple would soon realise that the competition was a money-making scheme and be wiser for it.
When they heard that they had actually won one of the top prizes, the whole family was surprised. As they already had a lot of play equipment in the garden, Gwyneth and Chris suggested to their daughter that it might be nice to donate the prize to a local play school.
It was as the slide was being winched into position that the top of it caught on the wooden cladding of the school building, tearing it away and exposing the small canvas bag that had belonged to the robbers. It appeared that they had hidden out in the school's loft after the robbery, and the bag had been dropped down behind the cladding by mistake. And now it seemed, incredulously, that Apple winning the slide had unlocked the case.