Raymond Scott: Shakespeare thief
Saturday 17 March 2012
Raymond Scott, who died on 14 March, was a flamboyant antiques dealer who was jailed for handling a stolen first edition of Shakespeare's plays. Scott, who passed himself off as a wealthy playboy before his conviction, was pronounced dead after being found unconscious in his cell at Northumnberland Prison, where he was serving an eight-year sentence.
Scott, who was born in February 1957, was a cigar-loving, self-described alcoholic jailed in 2010 after he took the 1623 volume of plays to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and asked to have it authenticated. Experts there alerted police, who said the folio had been stolen from a display case at Durham University in 1998.
Scholars consider the Shakespeare folio one of the most important printed works in the English language. The First Folio was published seven years after Shakespeare's death and was the first collected edition of his plays. Fewer than 250 copies of the collection survive and most are incomplete.Scott, who arrived for various court appearances in a horse-drawn carriage led by a piper and later in a silver limousine, denied all charges, claiming that he had found the volume in Cuba. A jury cleared him of stealing the First Folio but found Scott guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from Britain.
Judge Richard Lowden, sentencing Scott, described him as "to some extent a fantasist" who had tried to use the book to "fund an extremely ludicrous playboy lifestyle" and to impress a woman he had met in Cuba. Prosecutors said the collector drove a yellow Ferrari and posed as an international playboy, despite living with his elderly mother on welfare benefits and amassing huge credit-card debts.
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
- 5 Mrs Doubtfire 2: Robin Williams set to star in sequel to 1993 comedy
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...