Essex: Man admits theft by finding


A man has today pleaded guilty to one count of theft by finding, after he attempted to sell photographs of actress Daniella Westbrook to a freelance reporter.

Colchester Magistrates Court heard how Mark Coates, 40, of Great Dunmow, told the authorities he had found items including personal photographs belonging to Ms Westbrook as well as baby scan photos, in a field in a village near Stansted.

The court also heard that Coates had made contact with a freelance reporter in order to sell the property but was advised by the journalist to go to the police.

Coates was later charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with theft by finding. He pleaded guilty to this charge today, and was fined £265 and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £27 victim surcharge.