Monday, 4 April 2016

The men were behind break-ins at museums in Cambridge and Durham and also an attempt to steal a rhino head from another site.
18:14, UK,Monday 04 April 2016
Two of the artefacts that were stolen and recovered by police.
Seven men have been jailed for a total of more than 37 years over a plot to steal Chinese artefacts worth up to £57m from British museums.
The gang was behind break-ins at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum and Durham's Oriental Museum in 2012 and also tried to take a rhino head from Norwich Castle Museum.
In total the group, made up of 14 men, plotted to steal 24 artefacts, with as many as 18 never recovered.
The seven jailed on Monday were behind the planning of the raids, while others actually carried them out.
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard the stolen exhibits were valued at around £17m but detectives believe they might have fetched £57m in the "booming" Chinese auction market.
The gang was dubbed the Rathkeale Rovers, as some of the men had connections to the Irish town.
Gang
Judge Murray Creed jailed Richard "Kerry" O'Brien, 31, of Cambridgeshire - and also of Rathkeale - for five-and-a-half years.
His uncle, John "Cash" O'Brien, 68 and from Wolverhampton, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.
Daniel "Turkey" O'Brien, 45, and Daniel Flynn, also 45, both of Smithy Fen, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, were jailed for six years and eight months and four years, respectively.
Donald Wong, 56, of Clapham Common South Side in London, who was described by the judge as "a buyer, seller and valuer", was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.
Paul Pammen, 49, of Southend-on-Sea, and 37-year-old Alan Clarke, of Newham, London, who was said to have headed the gang's "disposal team", were also both jailed for five-and-a-half years each.
Judge Creed said the criminal enterprise "involved very high value goods with significant harm caused to victims, both museums and members of the public who would otherwise have viewed the material stolen".
He added: "It is a conspiracy both sophisticated, skilled and persistent, involved significant cultural loss to the UK of museum quality artefacts and items from international collections."
Six convicted over the conspiracy will be sentenced on Tuesday.
A 14th man had already been convicted and sentenced for his part in the crime, last year.