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

18:15  21 november  2019
18:15  21 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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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 They were convicted of theft and concealing their find. Coin sellers Simon Wicks and Paul Wells were also convicted on the concealment charge.

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 warrior in Herefordshire George Powell and Layton Davies should legally have declared the find, estimated to be worth more than £ 3 m , but instead they

George Powell and Layton Davies cover their faces outside court © Sky News George Powell and Layton Davies cover their faces outside court 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.

A gold ring from the 9th century which was part of a £3m Viking hoard © Sky News A gold ring from the 9th century which was part of a £3m Viking hoard

Only some jewellery items and 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.

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."

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This is interesting!