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CPS Proceeds of Crime

When the trial is over and the offender convicted, specialist lawyers in Crown Prosecution Service Proceeds of Crime (CPSPOC) - along with other criminal justice agencies - go after any ill-gotten gains.

CPSPOC has three main offices around the country and plays a key role in recovering millions of pounds each year.

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Dealer who unlawfully sold Princess Diana portrait jailed

12/09/2017

A Cotswold art dealer who stole or unlawfully sold paintings depicting many famous names, including Princess Diana, has been jailed today (Sep 12).

Jonathan Poole, 69, was sentenced to four years in prison at Gloucester Crown Court having admitted multiple theft offences at an earlier hearing.

Over three decades it is estimated Poole, of Poulton near Cirencester, made over £500,000 by either selling artwork he was not entitled to or by taking percentages of the profits from legitimate sales. The stolen artworks had various owners, including the estates of music legends Miles Davis and John Lennon.

Among the paintings he unlawfully sold were portraits of music stars Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr as well as model Kate Moss and Marilyn Monroe. Much of the artwork had been painted by Jagger’s Rolling Stones band mate Ronnie Wood.

The court heard how Poole ran into financial difficulties and closed his galleries in Compton Cassey and Fossebridge, both in Gloucestershire. After the closure, efforts were made to trace the stolen artworks and return them to their rightful owners but some have never been located.

James Ward, from the CPS, said: “Jonathan Poole was a reputable art dealer who abused his position of trust in the most discreditable way. All of the pieces of art are extremely valuable and there is no doubt Poole was well aware of this.

“Through careful analysis of financial transactions spanning several decades, the CPS built a strong case and faced with the evidence against him, Poole pleaded guilty.

“While some of the stolen artwork may never be recovered, I hope today’s sentence provides some sense of justice to the victims whose trust was breached by Poole.”

The CPS will now instigate proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act in order to recover the stolen funds.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. James Ward is a Crown Advocate with CPS South West
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233