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[BKARTS] Library Thief Peter Bellwood Admits Stealing Dozens of Antique Maps

Library Thief Admits Stealing Dozens of Antique Maps 

By Antony Stone, PA News 

A prolific art thief today admitted stealing dozens of rare antique maps
collectively worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Former landscape gardener Peter Bellwood, 52, razored 50 irreplaceable maps
during six visits to the National Library of Wales over six months in 2000.

Bellwood, of Magazine Farm Way, Prettygale, Colchester, netted £70,000 by
selling on the illicit antiques to collectors.

He admitted six identical charges of theft of antique maps when he appeared
at Swansea Crown Court today.

He denied a seventh identical charge, covering a visit in January 2001,
which will now lie on file.

Sentence was adjourned for six weeks because no police application had yet
been made to seize any proceeds he retains from his crimes.

Creighton Harvey, prosecuting, said the six admitted charges ?cover some 50
maps taken over six visits to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

?When the library carried out its investigation they put the number of maps
taken at over 105.

?The prosecution cannot say precisely which maps were taken. There are 105
missing from the library and he has admitted stealing 50 of them.?

He said he could find no record of any police confiscation application which
would allow them to seize property and cash linked to his crimes.

?Off the top of my head I would say that no steps have been taken. It may
well have been overlooked by the police. But I do not know.?

Peter Caldwell, defending, said: ?Mr Bellwood is not a man of means. What he
received by way of the sale of the maps has been dissipated.?

Judge Christopher Morton set November 5 as the date by which a prosecution
statement on confiscation should be heard in court.

November 19 was set aside for a similar hearing to allow the defence to

Bellwood, who has previously surrendered his passport, was released on
conditional bail.  


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