On May 16, 1986 in Knightsbridge Crown Court, a 38-year-old Peter Ashley-Russell was sentenced to 21 months in jail after pleading guilty to six counts of false hallmarking and of obtaining money by deception.
Police found a secret panel in Ashley-Russell's Bethnal Green workshop containing forgeries, tools and hallmark punches following the discovery that he had made a fake 17th century gold spoon and fork sold at Christie's.
On July 11, 1985, a gold rat-tailed trefid spoon and three-pronged fork with the marks of William Mathew 1689, had sold to Spink & Son, bidding on behalf of an overseas client, for £48,000. They were submitted to Goldsmiths' Hall and found to be modern fakes made from melted gold coins. Not all fakes were traced and it took many years for the market to recover.