UK News: Metal detectorists convicted of stealing a £3 million Viking hoard of coins and jewellery - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Metal detectorists convicted of stealing a £3 million Viking hoard of coins and jewellery

18:35  21 november  2019
18:35  21 november  2019 Source:   scotsman.com

Two metal detectorists convicted of stealing £3m of Viking coins

  Two metal detectorists convicted of stealing £3m of Viking coins Two metal detectorists have been convicted of stealing a £3m hoard of Viking coins and jewellery - much of which is still missing. George Powell and Layton Davies were found guilty at Worcester Crown Court after failing to declare the "invaluable" collection of buried treasure, which dated back 1,100 years to the reign of King Alfred the Great, then conspiring to sell it on. Prosecutors said the items, typical of a Viking hoard burial from the Anglo-Saxon period, were dug up on Herefordshire farmland in June 2015.

Most of the Viking coins and jewellery , said to be the most important find in recent history, is still missing. Image caption Most of the estimated 300 coins believed to be in the hoard are still missing. Two metal detectorists stole a £ 3 m Viking hoard that experts say has the potential to "rewrite

Two metal detectorists who unearthed an astonishing hoard of gold jewellery , silver ingots and coins buried more than 1,000 years ago by a Viking The jewellery and one ingot have been recovered but the vast majority of the 300 Anglo-Saxon coins that police believe were found remain unaccounted for

Two metal detectorists have been convicted of stealing a £3 million Viking hoard of coins and priceless jewellery - much of which is still missing.

a man and a woman walking down a street © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, failed to declare an "invaluable" collection of buried treasure dating back 1,100 years to the reign of King Alfred the Great.

Prosecutors said the items, many of which were Anglo Saxon but are typical of a Viking burial hoard, were dug up on Herefordshire farmland on June 2, 2015.

Among the priceless hoard was a ninth century gold ring, a dragon's head bracelet, a silver ingot, a crystal rock pendant dating to the fifth century and up to 300 coins, some dating to the reign of King Alfred.

Two metal detectorists guilty of stealing £3m hoard of Viking treasure

  Two metal detectorists guilty of stealing £3m hoard of Viking treasure Among the priceless trove was a gold ring, a fifth century crystal rock pendant, and up to 300 coins.George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, failed to declare an “invaluable” collection of buried treasure dating back 1,100 years to the reign of King Alfred the Great.

Paul Wells, 60, alongside three other metal detectorists are accused of stealing Anglo Saxon coins worth £ 3 millionCredit: SWNS:South West “They were both experienced at metal detecting, and they found jewellery , coins and ingots. And they knew when they found them that this was no ordinary find.

Four metal detectorists ' stole £ 3 million haul of Anglo Saxon coins and jewellery after finding it in a field and tried to sell it on the black market'. 'They soon learned it was not simply treasure but a hoard of very valuable coins . 'Such a quantity of coins of this kind would attract collectors from all

  Metal detectorists convicted of stealing a £3 million Viking hoard of coins and jewellery © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Only 31 of the coins have been recovered, although mobile phone photographs - later deleted, but recovered by police - showed the larger hoard, still intact, in a freshly dug hole.

Powell and Davies were also convicted alongside two other men, 60-year-old Paul Wells and Simon Wicks, 57, with conspiring to conceal the find.

Davies, who chose to give evidence in his defence, claimed the pair dug the jewellery out of two separate holes but photographs taken on his phone and later deleted clearly showed the trove as one.

  Metal detectorists convicted of stealing a £3 million Viking hoard of coins and jewellery © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

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Metal detector thieves dug up and stole £3million of Viking buried treasure

  Metal detector thieves dug up and stole £3million of Viking buried treasure George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, discovered a hoard of gold coins and priceless jewellery on farmland and kept it for themselves. George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, failed to declare an "invaluable" collection of buried treasure dating back 1,100 years to the reign of King Alfred the Great.

Metal detectorist who unearthed £ 2m haul of Viking jewellery finds himself in an unholy row with the Church of Scotland who are suing him for Derek McLennan holding ingots from a hoard of Viking treasure which he unearthed in one of the most significant finds of its kind ever made in Scotland.

Two metal detectorists were accused yesterday of stealing a treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon gold coins and jewellery worth £ 3 million . Although they admit having found a small number of coins alongside a gold bracelet, a gold and crystal pendant and a gold ring in June 2015, they deny that

He also alleged Powell had then planted some coins, which he already owned, in the hole for "staged" photographs, to give the items greater provenance and value.

One of the images appeared to show many more silver ingots than the one recovered by police but the men claimed these were simply bullet casings.

Both men also claimed talk of a 300-coin hoard had been a rumour, insisting that the only coins they found were declared to the National Museum Wales, in Cardiff, at a meeting on July 8.

However, they were undone by evidence including deleted photos of a much larger hoard on Davies's phone and the recovery of various coins, including five concealed in a magnifying glass case and volunteered to police by Wells.

Wicks, Powell and Davies were also found guilty of converting their ill-gotten gains into cash, after police traced several coins that had been sold on to private collectors, hidden away or left with expert valuers.

Metal detectorists convicted for stealing £3 million of Viking coins that 'rewrite history'

  Metal detectorists convicted for stealing £3 million of Viking coins that 'rewrite history' All four men were convicted of ignoring the law stating such finds must be properly declared, in order to sell the items in batchesGeorge Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, failed to declare an "invaluable" collection of buried treasure dating back 1,100 years to the reign of King Alfred the Great.

A group of metal detectorists stole Anglo Saxon coins worth £ 3 million as well as "invaluable" ancient jewellery they found in a field before selling them on the black market, a court heard. George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51, are accused of failing to declare a priceless hoard of 1

An expert gasped when he saw coins unearthed by two men now convicted of theft. The expert gasped when he saw the coins and suggested the two emperors could be worth £ 100,000 each. In a striking coincidence another metal detector found a Viking hoard in Watlington in October 2015

All four men were convicted of ignoring the law stating such finds must be properly declared, in a bid to sell the items in small batches.

Five of the coins are examples of the exceptionally rare Two Emperors penny, valued at up to £50,000 apiece, and so-called as they depict King Alfred and a lesser known monarch,

Ceolwulf II, who reigned in the old kingdom of Mercia, sitting together.

Expert analysis of all the jewellery and coinage recovered to date and now held at the British Museum returned a valuation of at least £581,000.

As to the fate of the rest of the coins and items in the hoard, prosecuting barrister Kevin Hegarty QC told jurors: "They have not been found.

"They must be concealed in one or more places or by now having been concealed have been dispersed never to be reassembled as a hoard of such coinage again."

Powell, of Kirby Lane, Newport; Davies, of Cardiff Road, Pontypridd; Wells, of Newport Road, Cardiff, and Wicks, of Hawks Road, Hailsham, East Sussex, will be sentenced at a later date.

They found Viking coins worth millions using metal detectors — but their discovery led to prison .
Four men in Britain face years behind bars for not reporting their discovery of a rare Viking treasure.Finders are not always keepers as metal detectorists and coin dealers in Britain have learned.

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