Watch expert found guilty of Titanic con

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The Independent Online
A WATCH expert was found guilty yesterday of conning an elderly woman into exchanging a watch presented to a steward on the Titanic, valued at pounds 20,000, for just pounds 35. A Southampton Crown Court jury took less than three hours to find Kim Webb, 41, guilty of obtaining property by deception.

Recorder Nicholas Jarman QC told Webb he could face a short prison sentence or a substantial fine when he comes to be sentenced.

Webb, of West End, Southampton, told Lela Hughes her watch was worth just pounds 15 scrap value. He exchanged it with her for a pounds 35 service on another watch but then told an employee it would make "a nice little nest egg". An identical watch sold for pounds 20,000 in March this year and could now fetch as much as pounds 40,000.

Mrs Hughes inherited her watch from a friend of Titanic crewman Alfred Crawford, Janice Brennan, for the prosecution, said.

Both watches were presented to crewmen from the sunken liner by the Countess of Rothes, a wealthy aristocrat who survived the disaster.