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Joined: 18 May 2015
Posts: 681
24 November 2019 07:47 pm

12 hours ago

Metal Detectorists Jailed After Stealing Ancient Viking Haul Worth £3 Million

Dominic Smithers in News
Published 16:08, Friday 22 November 2019 GMT
Two 'greedy and selfish' metal detectorists have been jailed for 18-and-a-half years after stealing a £3 million hoard of Anglo Saxon and Viking treasure.
George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, did not declare they had unearthed valuable coins and jewellery dating back more than 1,000 years that rewrote history.
The artifacts were discovered on farmland near Leominster, Herefordshire in June 2015, and included a ninth-century gold ring, a dragon's head bracelet, a silver ingot, a fifth crystal rock pendant and up to 300 coins.
The coins included 'two emperors' featuring the faces of King Alfred and King Ceolwulf II, worth up to £50,000 each, and 'cross and lozenges', valued at £15,000 each.

Powell was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Credit: SWNS
But rather than inform the farmer who owned the land, the two men tried to cash in, selling off their ancient haul bit by bit.
The court heard that, as a result of their efforts, only 31 of the coins - worth between £10,000 and £50,000 - and pieces of jewellery have ever been recovered, with the majority of the hoard still missing.
However, mobile phone photographs recovered from Davies' phone by police showed the trove all together as one in a freshly dug hole.
Under law, all treasure found in the UK belongs to the Crown and a Treasure Valuation Committee decides how it should be shared among the finder and the landowner or tenant.

Davies was handed an eight-and-a-half year sentence. Credit: SWNS
The court heard how Powell and Davies had approached the National Museum of Wales after a council worker heard rumours of their discovery and tracked one of the men down.
The pair then signed over three items to the museum, but claimed they only found one coin each at different locations, which meant they weren't subject to the Treasure Act.
It was also heard that Powell had only handed over three coins he found to the owner of the land and those were 'not particularly valuable'.
At a hearing yesterday, Powell and Davies, along with coin sellers Paul Wells, 60, and Simon Wicks, 57, were convicted of conspiring to conceal the treasure.
Powell, Davies and Wicks were also found guilty of conspiring to convert the treasure into cash.

Two of the coins recovered. Credit: SWNS
This morning, warehouse worker Powell, from Newport, Wales, was jailed for six years for theft and four years for conspiracy to conceal and convert, totalling 10 years.
Accomplice Davies, of Pontypridd, a school caretaker, was sent down for eight-and-a-half years after receiving five-and-a-half years for theft and three years for concealing the treasure.
Wicks, of Hailsham, East Sussex, received five years imprisonment for his charges including those from previous convictions.
Wells, of Rumney, Cardiff, was hospitalised after suffering a cardiac arrest when the jury gave its verdict. His sentencing was adjourned until 23 December.
Judge Nicholas Cartwright told Powell and Davies that if they had informed the farmer, they would have stood to have made at least £500,000 each from the find.

A ring confiscated from the two detectorists. Credit: SWNS
He said: "You acted in a way which was greedy and selfish. You clumsily dug out everything you could find and put the soil back and left without speaking to the farmer, the farmer's mother or anybody else.
"If you had obtained the permissions and agreements responsible metal detectorists are advised to obtain and had gone on to act within the law, you could have expected to have had a half share or third share of £3 million to share between the two of you.
"You could not have done worse than £500,000 each, but you wanted more."
All four men denied the charges but were convicted after a jury of six men and six women deliberated for eight-and-a-half hours following a seven-week trial.

GPX 5000 - sP01 - Evo 17x13
Life's a garden Dig It.

3 users like this post: RM Outback, goody2shoes, grubstake


From: Yorke Peninsla S.A., SA
Joined: 27 April 2016
Posts: 3,325
24 November 2019 08:18 pm

£500,000 each if they had declaired their find, far out.
I guess here in Australia the govt would just take it off you and youd get zip ?

Last edited by Wishfull (24 November 2019 08:19 pm)

1996 Garret Scorpion gold stinger, Minelab SDC2300, Equanox 800, Detecnix wader Li pinpointer, home made pick, 750 mm Walco pick, understanding wife, most of the time.

3 users like this post: mudgee hunter, RM Outback, goody2shoes


Joined: 02 October 2018
Posts: 278
24 November 2019 08:19 pm

Holy poop Good find, and that's why on here everyone is pushed to know the laws of prospecting.

The great out doors.. this is livin

2 users like this post: mudgee hunter, goody2shoes


Joined: 01 November 2016
Posts: 1,374
25 November 2019 10:44 am

Thats exactly why the UK has those laws, and the Authorities are bound by the same laws to properly evaluate and PAY for the finds,
but also to process the ground for historical information and records.

The land holder, the finder both get a nice reward - the Authorities find more history reported.

A fair system I think, of course if you dont like it, you run the risk of penalty.

How the hell did they think they could get away with it, in an age of Face Book and Internet.


500,000 split in two ? or more... no risk....

Easy decision to me.


Still looking for Captain Feather-swords treasure chest !
Won't be long now - 3240+ holes and STILL counting. (bloody ring-pulls and tabs) LOL

3 users like this post: RM Outback, Wishfull, grubstake

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