A Derby porcelain plaque and two Japanese plates have been returned by Surrey Police to two stately homes after they were recognised from an alert in Antiques Trade Gazette
The items were recovered from a pawnbroker in Hatton Gardens,
London, having been stolen from National Trust properties Clandon
Park, Guildford, and Petworth House in West Sussex.
Paul Whiting, 68, originally from Hammersmith, west London,
appeared at Guildford Crown Court on February 6 where he was
sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for the theft of the porcelain
plaque from Clandon Park in May 2013 and the theft of the plates
from Petworth in February 2012. The sentence is to run concurrently
to a sentence he is already serving for a theft at a National Trust
property in Hertfordshire.
Surrey Police told ATG: "A key piece of evidence to
convict Whiting came from CCTV images of him when he took the
porcelain plaque to
Bonhams auctioneers in New Bond Street for a valuation. John
Sandon and Fergus Gambon were working that day at the auctioneers
and carried out an inspection of the item.
"A few days later, Mr Sandon read an article in the Antiques
Trade Gazette regarding the theft of the plaque from Clandon
Park and recognised the piece as being the one he had recently
examined. CCTV was produced from Bonhams of the meeting and
circulated to other police forces.
"An officer from Hertfordshire saw the stills and recognised
Whiting as someone he had arrested for a burglary at a
National Trust house in West Wycombe Park in June 2013.
Officers from Surrey Police interviewed Whiting in prison and
subsequently charged him."
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