De­tec­torist stole Bronze Age ring

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

A metal de­tec­torist who found a rare Bronze Age ring when he was il­le­gally search­ing pri­vate land has been found guilty of theft af­ter he con­tacted a mu­seum about his find.

Ricky Smith, 34, dis­cov­ered the gold ring, pic­tured, on a bri­dle path in Sur­rey two years ago, but failed to re­port his find of “trea­sure” to the coroner.

In­stead, he touted the ring – worth be­tween £500 and £600 – to a lo­cal mu­seum, West Sur­rey mag­is­trates’ court in Guild­ford was told. This is only the fourth gold Bronze Age item found in Sur­rey, mean­ing that it is of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance. He con­tacted Sur­rey county coun­cil about his find in Septem­ber 2014 and was told to re­port it to the coroner. In­stead he con­tacted an­other mu­seum in Sus­sex, but was tracked down and the ring seized from his house in Cran­leigh. On Fri­day he was fined £300 plus costs.

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