Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The crime revolved around two paintings, Still Life With Crayfish, by Clara Peeters, and Night Fight, Crusaders and Turks, 1204, believed to be by Eugene Delacroix – but which later proved to be a fake – smuggled out of the Ukraine after being stolen from an art gallery there in March 1997.

Paul Black, aged 36, of Gelsthorpe Road, Romford, and his brother Declan, 28, of Manor Park were jailed for six and four years respectively in October last year after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to handle stolen goods.

They were caught after police set up an undercover operation, posing as potential buyers for the paintings.
It is thought that the paintings were probably stolen from the gallery in Ukraine by local criminals.

Upholding the sentences, Mr Justice Keene told the court: “We do emphasise that sentences in cases of this character, involving major international crime, require a significant element of deterrence.”