Grays, Essex, delivery man Roy Wood pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown to using a metal detector to locate and steal and then sell sell a gold solidus of Emperor Valentinian I:
In May 2013 Essex Police working with experts from English Heritage executed a search warrant at Wood's home and found documentation implicating Wood in the theft and subsequent sale of two gold coins. PC Andy Long, Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer for Essex Police said: "We work closely with English Heritage, CPS and the National Council for Metal Detecting to ensure the criminal element of this lawful hobby are brought to justice and I urge anyone who has information about such activity to contact me either by phone or email."It does not say if the coins were recovered from the buyers. Obviously the buyer of any dugup artefact runs the risk of buying stolen property if they do not demand the seller proves title by producing a document assigning it to the finder by the rightful landowner.This is what the Oxford Archaeology Nighthawking Report recommends.
Kashmira Gander, 'Gold Roman coin theft: Delivery man used metal detector to steal 'historically important' artefact', Independent Thursday 02 October 2014.
Seema Hakim, 'Delivery driver admits to using metal detector to steal Roman coin', Essex Echo Wednesday 1 October 2014 [complete with a goodly set of 'Billericay Ricky' style comments]
UPDATE 2nd October 2014
Even though ALL UK metal detectorists swear an absolute rejection of nighthawks and nighthwawkers who are somehow not counted by them as "bona fide detectorists" like wot they are, for some thin-skinned reason metal detectorist John Winter has blocked comments on his reposting of a press release from Andy Long on the subject of this guilty plea. What's the problem, John?