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London court: ‘Tome Raider’ guilty of stealing antique library books

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Written by ACN Staff   
Tuesday, 22 June 2010 11:16
LONDON (ACNI) – A 40-year-old man charged with stealing rare horticultural books from a world-renowned British library has been found guilty in London’s Southwark Crown Court.

William Jacques, who was arrested on Christmas Day of 2009 and subsequently charged with stealing 13 volumes of Nouvelle Iconographies des Camellias from the Royal Horticultural Society's library, will appear before the court for sentencing on July 20.

Given the dubious nickname “Tome Raider” in the late 1990s after stealing rare books valued at nearly $1.5 million, Jacques drew up a "thief's shopping list" as he continued his life of crime, prosecutors told the court.

Jacques already served a four-year jail term after being convicted of previous book thefts. As a repeat offender, the former Cambridge University student is expected to receive a lengthy sentence for his latest crimes.

According to a BBC report, the judge presiding over the case admonished Jacques, telling him: "These are antique and antiquarian books that have a real academic value to the institutions that lose them, which is quite independent to the financial value."

In another case currently being heard in London, 53-year-old Raymond Scott is accused of having stolen the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare's plays from England's Durham University in 1998.

Scholars consider the folio one of the most important printed works in the English language.

Scott is also charged with theft and handling stolen goods in cases unrelated to the folio. He denies all charges.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 10:14

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