Father and son guitar theft charges

A well known Yorkshire father and son business partnership dealing in rare and old musical instruments and equipment have been accused of handling stolen guitars worth £170,000.

Richard and Justin Harrison, who at the time of the alleged offences owned a well known company Music Ground and had shops in Leeds, Manchester and London and international customers, appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court.

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Prosecutor, Mrs Lisa Carlton said they were both charged with handling stolen goods and intending or assisting in the retention or disposal of those items between October 7 2006 and March 5 last year.

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The 26 guitars subject of the charges against the father and son are believed to be part of a haul of 157 guitars stolen in two burglaries in Verona, Italy, in October 2006 and which had an estimated value in excess of 1million.

Richard Harrison, 63, of The Old Rectory, High Street, Campsall, Doncaster, and his son Justin, 40, of Wentedge House, Wentedge Road, Pontefract, both entered preliminary pleas of 'not guilty' to the charge.

Representing them, Richard Haigh said the charges followed a lengthy investigation. The two men were told by the magistrates that their case was not suitable for summary trial at the Magistrates Court and would have to be committed to Leeds Crown Court.

They had their unconditional bail extended and the case was adjourned until February 10 2011.

Music Ground has had shops based in Call Lane, Leeds, London's "Tin Pan Alley" Denmark Street and Oxford Road, Manchester, but it was founded at least 35 years ago by Richard "Rick" Harrison in Hallgate, Doncaster.

In its advertising promotional material it claimed to stock thousands of instruments and to be "Europe's No 1" supplier of rare and vintage guitars.

The Harrisons are also said to be linked to a number of other musical shops.

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