Man jailed after trying to steal rhino head from museum

LONDON Tue Dec 4, 2012 12:35am IST

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - A Londoner was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Monday after his attempt to steal a rhino head worth up to 500,000 pounds ($800,000) from a museum was thwarted by staff and visitors.

Patrick Kiely, 29, pleaded guilty to trying to steal the stuffed specimen from Castle Museum in Norwich last February, because of the high value of rhinoceros horns, which are used in southeast Asian medicine and now trade for more than gold.

Kiely was part of a gang of four who smashed a glass case containing the rhino head while an accomplice waited outside the museum in a stolen car, the Press Association reported.

"As they attempted to escape with the head, staff and visitors stood firm and would not let them leave. They dropped the head, partially damaging it, and escaped," prosecutor Peter Gair told Norwich Crown Court.

He said the rhino head dated from the late Victorian era and was worth between 300,000 and 500,000 pounds.

The museum has since replaced the rhino's damaged horn with a replica.

The use of rhinoceros horns in Chinese medicine, as well as a spreading belief in Southeast Asia that they may cure cancer, has fuelled a surge in rhino poaching this year and propelled the street value of rhino horns to $65,000 a kilogramme, making them more expensive than gold, platinum or cocaine.

($1 = 0.6213 British pounds)

(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Alternative Miss World

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Charli XCX

Charli XCX

At 22, success has taken time for Britain's "Charli" Aitchison.  Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Brad Pitt's 'Fury' all the rage at U.S., Canada box office.  Full Article | Video 

Teen Awards

Teen Awards

The Vamps get the biggest screams and awards  Video 

Royal Baby-II

Royal Baby-II

UK's Prince William and wife Kate expecting baby in April  Full Article 

Shanghai Fashion Week

Shanghai Fashion Week

Collection highlights from Shanghai Fashion Week.  Slideshow 

Music Chart

Music Chart

Meghan Trainor tops UK music chart for third week running  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage