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:

Entertainment Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

Pharma Deal

Pharma Deal

Sun Pharmaceutical wins U.S. approval to buy Ranbaxy  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia Jet Crash

AirAsia captain left seat before jet lost control - sources  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Romney Opts Out

Romney Opts Out

Republican Romney opts out of 2016 run for president.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

Safety Concerns

Safety Concerns

Aviation leaders seek new safety mandate after deadly 2014.  Full Article 

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada

Movie Review: Hawaizaada  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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