Friday, 2 November 2018

Four Men in Court Over Tainted Artefact Charges

Leominster: Heritage Crime
in the English countryside
Four men have appeared in Hereford Magistrates' Court charged with handling stolen Anglo-Saxon and Viking artefacts (West Mercia Police, 'Four men to appear in Crown Court later this year for trial of dealing in tainted cultural artefacts', 31/10/2018). The gold and silver coins, a gold ring, gold arm bracelet, crystal sphere, and silver ingots were found in a village near Leominster, Herefordshire, in 2015. According to the BBC, the men charged are are George Powell, 37, of Newport; Layton Davies, 50, of Pontypridd; Paul Wells, 59, of  Cardiff; and Simon Wicks, 56, of Hawks Road, Hailsham, East Sussex The men will appear at Worcester Crown Court on 28 November. It seems that the man named as Simon Wicks is an eBay seller going by the name of ace-antiques (aka Britanicus2014). The addresses match. Are these charges the result of PAS monitoring of eBay? Mr Wicks has already attracted attention of antiquities trade watchers in the past. According to the places of residence given in the media, the three Welsh men live between 73 and 85 km from the alleged findspot. 

Source: West Mercia Police press release, 'Four men to appear in Crown Court later this year for trial of dealing in tainted cultural artefacts' ,Wednesday 31 October, 2018 2pm, MC, Corporate Communications

See also: 
BBC.'Men in court over Leominster Anglo-Saxon treasure charges',  31 October, 2018 [Note the BBC gives the man's name as 'Paul Well', but the Police press release gives the surname as 'Wells']
Michael Drummo, 'Hailsham man accused of dealing in Viking treasure and ‘tainted artefacts’...', Eastbourne Herald Crime news, Friday 02 November 2018 


Unknown said...

Nothing to do with eBay my friend you can get sued for slandering people's information on here digest you keep your comments to your self

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Barford said...

Somebody called Mr Wicks from Hailsham is an eBay trader (his name and address are published on the sales offers of the two dealers I mention) so I do not know what "slandering people's information" is meant to mean, if I am merely reporting for my readers' benefit what is in the public domain. The four men are named in court documents released to the press. They are innocent unless found guilty.

As for my comments, the global archaeological heritage belongs to us all and I think if somebody is going to be profiting from its sale, then we should (all) be looking at the way they go about it and its only by talking about it that we can establish what 'best practice' is. Anyway, we will all be watching the trial of these four, and maybe some more information will emerge. I imagine that since the 2003 DICOO Act has so far not been used much, this time the authorities will make a bit of a show trial of it all. I did not see this dealer offer any Anglo-saxon gold objects, but he certainly has some interesting other items on sale at this moment... I wonder where they came from and what paperwork there is...

Dr peters said...

You can only publish what’s been published on the day of hearings when it’s released so this is totally illegal and contempt where you could be liable for prosecution.

Dr peters said...

The hearing has just opened its doors and is at an early stage! As regards to your comments paul some of which is totally illegal and contempt due to the fact that the information you mentioned hasn’t been heard in court or released if such confidential information can be released. Not only it’s a case of innocent until proven otherwise! But also if you hold such information regarding this individual you can be sworn in on oath to explain why you hold and released such information before a court has ordered its release.

Paul Barford said...

So, "Dr peters (sic)" [uncapitalised, new account, two views, poor punctuation and syntax] what you are saying is that the West Media police press officer, the BBC and Eastbourne Herald are in some way all in contempt of court placing that information in the public domain. Have you written to each of them too explaining the way you see this? It is a matter of public interest and there is nothing "illegal" in giving the information that these men are appearing in court, there is nothing illegal in saying (public information) what they are charged with, and there will be nothing illegal in me following this case and saying what the verdict is. In the same way there is there nothing "illegal" in pointing out one of the men accused of handling 'tainted' aretafcts has the same name and place of residence as a known eBay dealer who goes under the same name. There is nothing "confidential" about information that has specifically been made public by West Mercia police about a case they have been dealing with for over two years. I think it is going to be a show trial 'pour encourager les autres'.

> But also if you hold such information regarding this individual ...<
Four people are mentioned in the above, which "individual" are you interested in "Dr peters"?

Paul Barford said...

"unknown", there is an unsubstantiated allegation in your comment that I am not going to publish. But thanks for the information. Noted.

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