Thursday, 2 October 2014

Psst, wanna buy this coin?

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?


heritageaction said...

"During sentencing His Honour, Judge Owen-Jones said the discovery of the coin was of ‘archaeological and historical importance’ and that would be taken into consideration along with the defendant’s previous good character. Wood was fined £400 and ordered to pay £250 costs."

So is he saying the fact it was of archaeological and historical importance would count in the defendants favour or the reverse?

Paul Barford said...

In Bonkers Britain? Whatd'ya reckon?

heritageaction said...

Well he probably made it clear but we don't have an account of his exact words.

It sort of smacks of "even criminals are heritage heroes"....

I think EH or ARCH should announce what he ACTUALLY said. It would be awful if detectorists got the idea that being caught with the best stuff was less serious than the opposite.

heritageaction said...

Maybe Mr Winter fears someone might post a comment about how Pc Andy Long's words about the theft of this one gold coin contrasts with his soothing words about the theft of lots of gold coins by lots of detectorists at the Twinstead rally?

I wonder if any of those oiks were ever prosecuted? And are they too classified as "nighthawks"? And if not why not?

Everything's possible in Bonkers Britain isn't it? Things are the opposite of what you'd expect. It's like the whole country was created by Lewis Carroll!

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