Painting stolen from Great Yarmouth home after Antiques Roadshow appearance 30 years ago sold at London auction house


A painting stolen from a house in Great Yarmouth 30 years ago – just a week after it had appeared on Antiques Roadshow – has been sold at historic auction house Christie’s for £62,500.

Portrait of Mary Emma Jones by Emma Sandys of Norwich sold for £62,500 in July, more than double its estimate, but Christie’s is now in negotiations with the family from whom it was stolen after the crime came to light.

The auction house reportedly asked the family to sign a confidentiality agreement and surrender their claim to the painting in exchange for £10,000, but Jan Davey, 69, the daughter of the late owner and antiquarian bookseller David Ferrow said the offer had been rejected as it was too low. Both her and her father thought thieves had recognised the painting from an episode of Antiques Roadshow aired just a week before it was taken, where it was valued at £20,000.

The pair were out at a casino in the seaside town when thieves struck.

Christie’s listing for the painting said it was “recently rediscovered” and the auctioneers said staff had checked whether it was on the Art Loss Register as stolen, but it was not, however, the register was not set up until the 1990s while the theft occurred in 1988.

A spokesman for Christie’s said: “We are working to resolve this with all parties and it would therefore not be appropriate to comment. Christie’s would never knowingly sell any work of art without correct title.”

The identity of neither the buyer, nor the seller, have been revealed.


Gorleston carer Robert Smith jailed for sex with vulnerable woman

A carer who had sex with a vulnerable woman has been jailed for 11 years and six months.

Robert Smith, 65, of St Catherine’s Way, Gorleston, abused his victim while working in the Great Yarmouth area in July 2016.

He denied five offences relating to a person with a mental disorder impeding choice and was convicted by a jury at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday.

Norfolk Police said the victim’s courage was “commendable”.

Det Con Nick Appleton added: “The impact of this case on the victim and her loved ones has been life-changing.

“Throughout the investigation, Smith has denied all offences and shown no remorse for what he has done and I am pleased he has received a significant custodial sentence.”

Smith had denied three counts of penetrative sexual activity and two counts of sexual activity, with all five charges relating to a person with a mental disorder impeding choice.


Shocking dashcam videos released by Norfolk and Suffolk police

Examples of crashes and astonishing near-misses caught on drivers’ dashcams have been released by police to discourage erratic driving.

Forces in Norfolk and Suffolk said they received about 150 videos a month from the public – double the amount from last year.

About 75% of footage has led to drivers being warned, sent on driving courses or dealt with through the courts.


Location for Great Yarmouth Taco Bell revealed

American fast food chain Taco Bell is launching in Great Yarmouth and now its location has been revealed.

The restaurant will be situated in the heart of Great Yarmouth’s town centre on Regent Road.

The site Taco Bell will move into was formerly occupied by popular restaurant and take-away service Spud-u-Like.

Town centre manager for Great Yarmouth, Jonathan Newman, is pleased to see the fast food chain coming to the town.


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