Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Luxor Theft: Laughable Fine for Antiquities Smuggling in Bonkers Britain


"Now, let that be a lesson to you, you naughty man".
A UK court has fined a British citizen £500 after he admitted having attempted to sell a number of ill-gotten Egyptian antiquities through Christie’s. He bought then illegally in Egypt, smuggled them out of the country, lied to Christie's about where they came from, greedily counted on making a packet. And he would have done if they'd not been spotted by an archaeologist who knew where one of the items had been stolen from. Neil Kingsbury was arrested:
During a nine-month trial, Kingsbury revealed he had bought the items from a man called Mohamed who owned a series of shops, including one in a five-star hotel complex in Luxor, and brought them to Britain in a suitcase. Due to his cooperation and confession, Kingsbury was told he would not be sentenced to prison. Beside the £500 fine, he was also ordered to pay £50 as a court fee.
and told "not to do it again", no doubt. Laughable, and gives out a clear message that the British do not give a tinker's about looted material on the UK market. No surprise there though when their jobsworth archaeologists refer to artefact hunters and collectors as their "partners" and refuse to discuss the issue in public.

The fate of "Mohammed" after Mr Kingsbury shopped him to get a lighter sentence is unknown

Amer Sultan, 'Briton fined £500 by UK court for attempted sale of smuggled Egypt antiquities', Ahram Online, Tuesday 15 Apr 2014

UPDATE 30th April 2014
The Art Newspaper has a different account (Martin Bailey, 'London man fined over stolen Egyptian antiquities' Art Newspaper 30th April 2014):
Neil Kingsbury must pay more than £12,000 in fines and compensation for falsifying provenance of artefacts [...] Kingsbury was fined a total of £1,000 on two counts, £8,192 was confiscated, £3,521 was ordered to be paid as compensation and he had to pay court costs of £150.
That's a bit more like it. Once again Al-Ahram seems not to be a reliable source of information.

4 comments:

Andy Baines said...

500 quid?! That is pretty shocking really considering you get fined 300 for something as simple as riding a bicycle on a pavement round my way.

Also a 9 month trial, I wonder how much that cost the taxpayer?

Hardly a deterrent and im sure he will soon be at it again.

Paul Barford said...

I do not think he'll be going back to Egypt soon, he'll be on a watch list. Egyptian jails are not, I believe, nice places to spend one's retirement. Besides "Mohammed" has friends, perhaps in the UK too.

Jo Jones said...

Andy, whilst you may find the fine imposed on Neil Kinsbury to be laughable, it corresponds directly to the Sentencing Guidelines which are issued by JSB. These lay down the amounts relevant in both the Crown Court and Magistrates's courts in England and Wales Scottish Law is very different).
On deciding the level of fine to be imposed, the court must take into account the defendants plea when first charged with the offence/s in question and his/her co-operation and remorse and lastly their income. Depending on the latter a sliding scale is laid down and should be followed. The fact that Mr Kingsbury pleaded 'Guilty' straight away means that he had to be 'given credit for his early guilty plea'. This credit involves remitting one third of any sentence that could be given and applies to any criminal offence including murder. Lesser credit is given the longer the defendant maintains their lack of guilt, right up until the trial proper opens. If they change their plea at the door of the court, then they qualify for a one tenth reduction in sentence. At this stage the defendants previous record/or lack thereof, also plays a significant part.
Any Judge or Magistrate deviating from the Guidelines must give reasons in open court either for going above or below what the Guidelines say.
Mr Kingsbury did not have a nine month trial. He was I under investigation for nine months. The way his case was dealt with again follows normal procedures. Initially heard in local Magistrates Court and then sent to Crown Court for 'Plea and Direction' hearing. On pleading guilty his trial date was set in the knowledge that his co-operation meant that the majority of the case would involve few, if any, witnesses and that his sentence would be decided quickly based on the Sentencing Guidelines referred to above and any Pre-sentence Reports requested by the Judge at the first hearing. I suspect that in this case the £50 he was ordered to pay to the court was 'the victim surcharge' which is imposed on any person who is given a fine and was introduced and laid down by the Government. It does not go to any 'victim' but is a levy which the courts are bound to impose and which may go towards the 'Witness Support Service'.
Not as easy as it seems at first sight, is it?

Jo Jones said...

Andy, whilst you may find the fine imposed on Neil Kinsbury to be laughable, it corresponds directly to the Sentencing Guidelines which are issued by JSB. These lay down the amounts relevant in both the Crown Court and Magistrates's courts in England and Wales Scottish Law is very different).
On deciding the level of fine to be imposed, the court must take into account the defendants plea when first charged with the offence/s in question and his/her co-operation and remorse and lastly their income. Depending on the latter a sliding scale is laid down and should be followed. The fact that Mr Kingsbury pleaded 'Guilty' straight away means that he had to be 'given credit for his early guilty plea'. This credit involves remitting one third of any sentence that could be given and applies to any criminal offence including murder. Lesser credit is given the longer the defendant maintains their lack of guilt, right up until the trial proper opens. If they change their plea at the door of the court, then they qualify for a one tenth reduction in sentence. At this stage the defendants previous record/or lack thereof, also plays a significant part.
Any Judge or Magistrate deviating from the Guidelines must give reasons in open court either for going above or below what the Guidelines say.
Mr Kingsbury did not have a nine month trial. He was I under investigation for nine months. The way his case was dealt with again follows normal procedures. Initially heard in local Magistrates Court and then sent to Crown Court for 'Plea and Direction' hearing. On pleading guilty his trial date was set in the knowledge that his co-operation meant that the majority of the case would involve few, if any, witnesses and that his sentence would be decided quickly based on the Sentencing Guidelines referred to above and any Pre-sentence Reports requested by the Judge at the first hearing. I suspect that in this case the £50 he was ordered to pay to the court was 'the victim surcharge' which is imposed on any person who is given a fine and was introduced and laid down by the Government. It does not go to any 'victim' but is a levy which the courts are bound to impose and which may go towards the 'Witness Support Service'.
Not as easy as it seems at first sight, is it?

 
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