Dealer sold on stolen goods
A “DISHONEST” antiques dealer who bought and sold £70,000 worth of items which had been stolen from the home of an elderly woman in Cardiff has been jailed.
Vincent Clegg, 53, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods taken from a home in Cyncoed on November 8, 2012.
The dealer, who ran a boutique in London’s jewellery quarter Hatton Garden, came into possession of 46 miniature portraits which had been taken in the burglary, as well as numerous vignettes, antique watches, and gold boxes.
The total value of the items stolen was £158,000, while the items possessed by Clegg were worth between £73,000 and £78,000.
Clegg initially denied all accusations of handling stolen goods but changed his plea to guilty in regards to one count of handling stolen goods two weeks before he was due to face a retrial.
A trial of issue took place at Newport Crown Court on Friday after Clegg pleaded guilty on the basis that he did not find out the items were stolen until he had the miniature portraits valued by Bonhams.
His account was rejected by Judge Daniel Williams who described a “rich seam of dishonesty” running through the defendant.
Sentencing, Judge Williams said : “[The homeowner], then 78, was the victim of a burglary at her home on November 8, 2012. The burglars must have targeted her home believing it contained valuable antiques.
“[She] was living on her own after her husband died two years before. The antiques stolen were valued at £158,000, with 278 items in total, a large quantity of which were miniature portraits. Most of them were unaccounted for.
“You dishonestly received a significant amount of the proceeds of the burglary, including many of the miniature portraits. Many have not been recovered.
“[She] said the burglary has made her scared and has aged her significantly and she has not slept well since this happened five years ago.”
The court heard that Clegg had previous convictions relating to handling stolen goods in the 1990s, with his last conviction in 1999 involving antiques.
The judge added: “You remain thoroughly dishonest.”
Clegg, of Heath Drive, Romford, received a total of three years imprisonment.