Antiques dealer jailed

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The Independent Online
AN ANTIQUES dealer who police believe raided the homes of up to 400 pensioners, escaping with valuables worth pounds 6m, was jailed for seven years.

One painting was unwittingly purchased by BBC TV's Antiques Roadshow expert David Collins from another dealer. The Constable-style landscape was taken from the home of a retired architect drugged with sleeping pills.

Duncan Cousins, 34, and his accomplice, Charlene Davis, 41, tricked the pensioner into believing they were from the social services, the Old Bailey heard. Davis ran a stall in Portobello Road, London, and Cousins had an antiques shop in Chiswick, west London.

She was jailed for seven years in September. She told police she worked with Cousins, posing as a worker from the social services. Cousins, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire,admitted three burglaries.

Steven Doncaster, 33, of Leytonstone, east London, and Alan Gray, 20, of Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to the burglary of 93-year-old Robert Heal at his home in Twickenham . Doncaster drove the van used to take the goods away and Gray helped remove them, the court was told. All three men denied a charge of administering a noxious substance to Mr Heal. It was ordered to lie on the court file.

Doncaster and Gray were each jailed for three years.