Stortford: Duo Jailed For Sculpture Theft

Two men who stole art works by Henry Moore in East Hertfordshire have both been jailed for a year.

Liam Hughes, 22, and 19-year-old Jason Parker pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court last month to stealing a sculpture called Sundial and the bronze plinth of another work from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation in Much Hadham near Bishop's Stortford.

Now, at the same court, Judge Marie Catterson has told them: "You simply didn't bother to think about the harm that you were causing or the harm that you were risking by your actions."

Parker will serve his sentence in a young offender institution. The pair are from Coltsfield, Stansted.

The judge said the men stole the Sundial work of art overnight between July 10 and 11 and returned between July 15 and 16 to steal the plinth of another piece.

"The value of the Sundial is put at something like half a million pounds, though the truth is that it is priceless, because it can't be replaced, should it ever be lost, and the value of the plinth for the other work of art is believed to be £100,000.

"Damage caused to the piece of art which was sitting on the plinth, and other necessary security works, is estimated at £13,000."

The men took the Sundial to a scrapyard and sold it for £46, then did the same with the plinth, receiving £182.60.

The thefts attracted publicity and the scrap merchant notified the police.

"Fortunately, these items were then recovered."