A West Yorkshire grandfather who was the mastermind behind a £1.2 million crime spree which involved the theft of valuable antiques, had his appeal to reduce his jail term refused recently. The judges at the Court of Appeal in London have refused to lower his sentence, stating that he must serve the full nine years handed down to him.
Grandfather, Graham Geoffrey Harkin aged 59 from Wakefield, used his National Trust membership and took part in guided tours of mansions and stately homes in the UK. He then returned to the homes to steal antiques valued at more than £1 million. The appeal court judges heard how Harkin was behind the high value crimes, involving a collection of porcelain which holds a status of national importance. The porcelain was held at Firle Place, Lewes by Lord Henry Gage and has never been recovered.
Harkin was only apprehended when he attempted to claim a reward of £20,000 for an antique clock, which he had in fact got in his car boot. After arranging to meet the thief at services on the M62, undercover police made the arrest. When refusing Harkin’s appeal, Mr Justice Parker said:
“These items were cherished not just by their owners, but by members of the public. He could have given the police information that would have led to the recovery of the stolen items, but chose not to do so.”
This case highlights the theft of valuable antiques, and the necessity to purchase from a reputable antiques dealer. Whether it’s antique dining chairs or antique bookcases, from Lancashire to London, there are antique dealers happy to help.
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