It turns out that Kevin Lomas, convicted of illegal metal detecting last week, has also been reporting finds to the PAS. In the 2008 Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report, page 166 we find mention of a Late Medieval/Post-Medieval silver-gilt pin head from Kettlethorpe, Lincs, reported to the Yorkshire FLO in 2008 and returned to the finder. There is also a mention of him in the November 2007 issue of Treasure Hunter magazine, where in an article on 'mysterious and unidentified objects made of precious metals, found in Great Britain', mention is made of him having found in his metal detecting a "gold-looking jewel with red stones affixed on the surface".
In the rhetoric of the pro-collecting lobbyists a clear distiction is made between the "them" of the nighthawks (minority) and the "us" the (majority) - responsible metal detectorists. The case of Mr Lomas invites us to reflect whether the distinction is always so sharp, and whether in fact it matters, when what we are talking about is the removal of archaeological artefacts from their contexts.