Fringe Box



Police Return Stolen Plaque To National Trust’s Clandon Park

Published on: 25 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2014
A detective from Surrey Police had the enjoyable task of returning a selection of antiques to National Trust properties which had been stolen by a prolific thief from London.
DC Dave Pellatt from Surrey Police and Caroline Sones, house manager at Clandon Park, with the returned item.

DC Dave Pellatt from Surrey Police and Caroline Sones, house manager at Clandon Park, with the returned Derby porcelain plaque.

The items, a Derby porcelain plaque and two Japanese plates were recovered from a pawn broker in Hatton Gardens, London having been stolen from Clandon Park, Guildford and Petworth House in West Sussex.

Paul Whiting, 68, originally from Hammersmith, London appeared at Guildford Crown Court on February 6, where he was sentenced to 12 months in jail for the theft of the porcelain plaque from Clandon Park in May 2013 and the theft of two Japanese plates from Petworth in February 2012.

The sentence is to run concurrent to a sentence he is already serving for a theft at a National Trust property in Hertfordshire.

A key piece of evidence to convict Whiting came from CCTV images of him when he took the porcelain plaque to Bonhams Auctioneers in New Bond Street for a valuation.

John Sandon and Fergus Gambon of TV’s Antiques Roadshow fame, were working that day at the auctioneers and carried out an inspection of the item.

A few days later, Mr Sandon read an article in The Antique Trade Gazette regarding the theft of the plaque from Clandon Park and recognised the piece as being the one he had recently examined. CCTV was produced from Bonhams of the meeting and circulated to other police forces. An officer from Hertfordshire saw the stills and recognised Whiting as someone he had arrested for a burglary at a National Trust House in West Wycombe Park in June 2013. Officers from Surrey Police interviewed Whiting in prison and subsequently charged him with the two burglaries.

DC Dave Pellatt from Surrey Police CID said: “Whiting is a prolific antiques thief who has caused a great deal of heartache and inconvenience to all those affected by his offending. I’m really pleased that we have been able to recover the stolen items and it’s equally satisfying to know that he is now behind bars for a lengthy period.”

Caroline Sones, house manager at Clandon Park said: “Last year staff and volunteers here were saddened when this beautiful Derby porcelain plaque was stolen. We are delighted that officers from Surrey Police have recovered it for us and can’t wait to have it on display again.

“The National Trust is one of Europe’s largest conservation charities and looks after historic collections forever for everyone. People come from near and far to enjoy Clandon Park’s collections of textiles, furniture and ceramics, representing the best in 18th-century craftsmanship, in a grand English country house.”

Andrew Loukes, house and collections manager at Petworth added: “The National Trust at Petworth are delighted to have the Japanese dishes back, and are very grateful to Surrey and West Sussex Police Forces for all their efforts. We are also pleased that our own CCTV coverage was able to link Whiting with the theft from Petworth.”

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *