Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Judge Looks for Answers on Raid Pair; Role of Criminals in Daring Museum Raid Is Still Uncertain

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Judge Looks for Answers on Raid Pair; Role of Criminals in Daring Museum Raid Is Still Uncertain

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL MCKAY

TWO criminals who admitted plotting to break into a museum and steal Chinese artefacts worth PS1.8m have denied smashing a wall in the premises and grabbing the items from cabinets.

Durham University's Oriental Museum was the scene of a highly-professional, high-stakes raid last Easter, Durham Crown Court heard.

Thieves escaped with an 18th century jade bowl and a Dehua porcelain figurine which dated from the Qing Dynasty.

Lee Wildman, 35, and Adrian Stanton, 32, both from Walsall, West Midlands, admitted conspiracy to burgle at a previous hearing on the basis that they were recruited to help unnamed figures who carried out the break-in in April.

That basis of plea was rejected and Judge Christopher Prince is hearing a trial of issue to determine what role they played. The two will be sentenced tomorrow, along with four others.

Wildman told the judge he and Stanton were recruited to help figures in the North East after chatting to associates at a garage in Walsall. …

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