NEWS | Herefordshire treasure theft sentencing

Three out of the four men have today (Friday 22 November) been sentenced to a combined 23 years years, after all four were found guilty, in relation to a treasure hoard worth an estimated £3million discovered in Eye, Herefordshire. A fourth man will be sentenced on 23 December.

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They appeared at Worcester Crown Court following a trial that lasted just over 6 weeks and were found guilty of all offences yesterday (Thursday 21 November).

The proceeds of crime process will follow in the coming months.

George Powell, 38, of Coulson Close, Newport, was found guilty of theft, conspiracy to conceal criminal property and conspiracy to convert criminal property received a total of 10 years.

Layton Davies, 51, of Cardiff Road, Hawthorn, Pontypridd, was found guilty of theft, conspiracy to conceal criminal property and conspiracy to convert criminal property received a total of 8.5 years.

Simon Wicks, 57, of Hawks Road, Halisham, East Sussex, was found guilty conspiracy to conceal criminal property and conspiracy to convert criminal property received 5 years.

Paul Wells, 60, on Newport Road, Rumney, Cardiff was found guilty of conspiracy to conceal criminal property will be sentenced on 23 December.

It is believed there are outstanding coins and we would appeal to anyone within the community of metal detectorists or coin dealers, as well as the wider community, that may have seen coins or treasure from this hoard to contact West Mercia Police on 101.

Herefordshire local policing commander, Superintendent Sue Thomas said: “This unusual investigation is one of national significance and I am pleased to see the three men who were found guilty yesterday have now been given a combined total of 23 years in prison.”

She continued: “I hope this demonstrates how seriously we take this sort of crime in Herefordshire and it is a criminal offence to not declare finds of treasure to the local coroner’s office.”

Detective Constable Nigel Cleeton, investigating officer for the operation said: “I am pleased to see such a substantial sentence for the individuals who stole and concealed parts of the treasure hoard found in Eye, Herefordshire.”

He continued: “I do believe there are coins outstanding and I would ask anyone within the community of metal detectorists or coin dealers as well as the wider community that may have seen or heard of the where-abouts of coins from this hoard to contact me at West Mercia Police by calling 101.”