Music men admit handling stolen vintage guitars

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A well-known Yorkshire father and son business partnership have been given suspended prison sentences for handling stolen guitars.

Richard and Justin Harrison, dealing in rare and old musical instruments, admitted to handling stolen vintage guitars worth over £40,000.

Dad Richard, 63, of The Old Rectory, High Street, Campsall, Doncaster, admitted one charge of handling stolen goods relating to ten guitars worth £42,000.

He was given a 12 month sentence, suspended for 18 months and 200 hours unpaid work.

Son Justin, 40, of Wentedge House, Wentedge Road, Pontefract, admitted two charges of handling stolen goods, relating to two guitars worth £4,500.

He was given a six month sentence, suspended for 18 months, 200 hours unpaid work and told pay £2,500 court costs.

At the time of the offences they owned well known company Music Ground and had shops in Leeds, Manchester and London and international customers. 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.

The guitars were 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.

Michael Rawlinson, for Justin, said he had not known the gutiars were stolen when he first received them but had “buried his head in the sand”. Nigel Hamilton, for Richard, said he had given the guitars to people look after when he realised they were stolen but was arrested nine months later when he was still in possession of them.

Judge Christopher Batty described their actions “disgusting”. He said: “We are not talking about throw-away items.

“We are talking expensive property – vintage guitars.

The pair now face an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

PIC: PA

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