Takeley man faces possible jail time over theft of armour from Mountfitchet Castle

Mountfitchet Castle Mountfitchet Castle

Monday, July 28, 2014
5:17 PM

A Takeley man who stole artefacts from Stansted’s Mountfitchet Castle has been warned he probably faces jail.

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Daniel Johnson, 33, of Canfield Road, pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to two thefts and two burglaries at Mountfitchet Castle, Harlow Museum, Maldon’s Combined Services Museum and Clink Lane Museum in Southwark, London.

He admitted theft of military artefacts, including an axe, chainmail, coffin and a helmet, worth £900, belonging to Maldon Combined Services Museum on March 13 this year; and to theft of Roman armour between March 13 and 16 belonging to Harlow Museum worth £1,000.

He also pleaded guilty to burglary of Mountfitchet Castle’s Grand Hall and Armoury between March 14 and 18 and stealing arms and ammunition worth £6,700; and to burglary on March 14 at Clink Lane Museum, Southwark, including a belt, thumbscrews, and scold’s bridle, worth £1,000.

Johnson must now wait to hear his fate after his sentencing was adjourned until September.

Prosecutor John Livingston told the court Johnson had no previous convictions and continued: “It’s a rather strange case of thefts from museums.”

Mitigating Stephen Levy said Johnson was brought to the attention of police as the person responsible and he made full confessions.

Asking for a pre-sentence report, the lawyer said: “He is a man of good character who has found himself committing these offences, which is totally out of character, within a very short period of time.”

Mr Levy said Johnson had been seeing a consultant psychiatrist since and been medicated.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC today (Monday) adjourned sentence until the week of September 15 for psychiatric and probation service reports.

But he warned Johnson: “On the face of it the offences will require you to be sent to prison but I will consider all options with the benefit of the reports.”

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