Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shakespeare Folio Man Admits Theft; Dealer Stole Books from Wa Terstone's

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shakespeare Folio Man Admits Theft; Dealer Stole Books from Wa Terstone's

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul James Chief Reporter

AN eccentric antiques dealer caught stealing a cannabis book from a high street bookstore yesterday compared his plight to that of Gandhi.

Raymond Scott, 51, was caught by plainclothes security staff stealing a copy of The Cannabible Collection worth pounds 18.99 and a pounds 32 book on stone sheepfold artworks from a branch of Waterstone's in the MetroCentre in Gateshead.

Scott, who is at the centre of a separate investigation into the theft of a pounds 15m Shakespeare folio from Durham University, appeared before Gateshead Magistrates' Court wearing his trademark Cuban holiday outfit - blue jeans, brown T-shirt, brown leather jacket, dark Tiffany & Co New York sunglasses and a Felipe Massa F1 baseball cap.

Bearded Scott was allowed to keep his sunglasses on throughout the proceedings because he said he had a problem with his eyes.

The court heard MetroCentre security staff spotted Scott acting suspiciously in the shopping centre on September 21 last year and followed him into Waterstone's.

They then watched him pick up one of the two books off a shelf and carry it to another part of the store and placing it on the shelf next to the other book.

Scott was then seen crouching out of view before the security guards heard Scott place both books in a plastic bag and walk out of the shop.

He was then challenged by the guards and subsequently arrested by the police.

"The defendant admitted he left the store without making payment for either of the books," said prosecutor David Mayhew.

Scott, who had previously lived with his mother in Washington but whose address is now Sandford Close, Wingate, County Durham, admitted a single charge of theft totalling pounds 50.99.

According to the book's summary, The Cannabible Collection, written by photographer and "renowned pot connoisseur" Jason King, is an encyclopaedia of his favourite types of marijuana - from the "coffee shops of Amsterdam to the mountains of Afghanistan to the volcanoes of Hawaii". …

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