NEWS

7 Ad­mis­sion in theft of Olympic gold medal

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

ONE of two men ac­cused of steal­ing the gold medal won by Rhona Martin when she led the GB women’s team to vic­tory at the 2002 Win­ter Olympics has ad­mit­ted his part in the theft.

Char­lie Walker, 25, pled guilty to break­ing into Dum­fries Mu­seum and tak­ing the medal with other sport­ing me­men­toes as well as a chain of of­fice and a cas­ket with an his­tor­i­cal scroll.

The 22-carat medal had been loaned by the gold medal­list, now Rhona Howie, for dis­play in an ex­hi­bi­tion tied to a curling event in the area.

A jury at Dum­fries Sher­iff Court was told the medal had not been re­cov­ered and the curler de­scribed it as “ir­re­place­able”.

Walker changed his plea on the third day of the trial in which he and 34-year-old Ste­wart Pet­ti­grew, who is now in the dock alone, were ac­cused of com­mit­ting the of­fence in April 2014.

Mr Pet­ti­grew de­nies the charge.

On the first day of the trial, Mrs Howie gave ev­i­dence, say­ing: “In all my years of play­ing that was a spe­cial one. I was gut­ted when I heard it had been stolen and went into tears.”

The jury of nine women and six men has heard an alarm go­ing off led to the dis­cov­ery that a door and a shut­ter had been forced open.

Po­lice found dis­play cab­i­nets smashed, with bro­ken glass strewn on the floor.

CCTV film was shown that, it was claimed, iden­ti­fied the two men visit­ing the mu­seum sep­a­rately two days ear­lier.

The trial will con­tinue on Mon­day and Sher­iff Brian Mo­han has de­ferred sen­tence on Walker to the end of the case.

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