Jury sworn in for books theft trial

A jury was sworn in today ahead of the trial of a man accused of stealing valuable antique books from a world-famous library.

William Jacques, 41, is charged with stealing 13 volumes of Nouvelle Iconographies des Camellias by Ambroise Verschaffelt from the Royal Horticultural Society's London library.

Jacques, of no fixed address, was arrested on Christmas Day in Selby, North Yorkshire. He denies stealing the books.

He also denies going equipped with a Senate House library card to commit theft.

The volumes contained an array of coloured plates of camellias by the 19th century Belgian author and explanatory text.

The Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library, in Vincent Square, London, is among the best in the world.

It holds books, journals, pictures and art on practical gardening, garden history, garden plants and design dating back to 1514.

The trial at Southwark Crown Court will open tomorrow at 10.30am.