Brighton Antiques Knockers, They Haven't Gone Away You Know !!!
Kevin Douglas, (Dob: 07-03-1957) of Shirley Drive, Hove.
On Monday 15th December 2009 Brighton Antiques Knocker Kevin Douglas cold called the home of an elderly couple, a 76 year old female and her 84 year old husband along St Peter's Square, Hammersmith.
He claimed that he was looking to buy old books and was invited in. Once inside Kevin Douglas took advantage of the age of his victims and without invitation, proceeded to walk into several private areas, including the victim's bedrooms.
He then rummaged through their personal possessions and managed to steal two sentimental antique watches that have not been recovered.
After a trial Kevin Douglas, 54 years (Dob 07-03-1957) of Shirley Drive, Hove, East Sussex was convicted on Monday 21st February at Kingston Crown Court and remanded in custody.
On Tuesday March 15th 2011 Kevin Douglas was sentenced to three and a half years jailtime at Kingston Crown Court following a distraction burglary in Hammersmith. He was given an ASBO to run indefinitely and ordered to pay compensation costs of £100 to his elderly victims.
Douglas will not be allowed to enter any private dwelling unless belonging to family or friends without prior written permission from the owner.
Furthermore if any sale takes place, Douglas is to provide the vendor with a receipt and retain an exact copy of the receipt for 5 years from date of issue.
Detective Sergeant Paul Mitchell, of the Metropolitan Police’s burglary squad at Hammersmith Police Station, said: "This is a satisfying conclusion to what was a particularly nasty crime perpetrated against a thoroughly decent, elderly couple.
“Kevin Douglas deliberately targeted what he thought would be easy prey and his actions were despicable.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the victims of this crime who have showed dignity, courage and patience in a protracted case that saw them giving evidence over two years after the offence was committed".
Police advise people not to let cold callers into their homes and check their identities if they are from a company.
DS Mitchell said: “If you have antiques to sell go to a reputable dealer and don't run the risk of being duped by unscrupulous individuals like Mr Douglas.”
Tricked out of £40,000
And now the family of the Comberton pensioner have taken the dealer to court over the sale and won back both the furniture and £10,000 court costs.
The dealer bought the 18th Century table along with two chairs and some antique porcelain from Lady Janetta Huntingfield after visiting her home.
After finding out about the sale, the family - who once occupied a mansion estate in Suffolk - served a writ against Brighton antiques dealer Kevin Douglas, claiming the sale was an "unconscionable purchase".
The items have now been returned and a civil court has agreed that Mr Douglas will pay the family's court costs.
Lady Huntingfield has a bad memory and the family were unable to track down the dealer, so they put an advert in an antiques journal. They soon got a call from an auction house in Sussex saying the table was coming up in a sale.
After finding the dealer they found he had sold the chairs and he was forced to buy them back so they could be taken to Christie's in London for safekeeping while the case was decided by the courts.
Lady Huntingfield's son, Lord Joshua Huntingfield, told the News: "Some people knocked on my mother's door saying, 'Would you like to sell some books?' and she let them in on that basis. The next thing she found she was selling the furniture but she should never have let them in.
"He paid in cash without a receipt so there was no way we could find out who he was. The furniture was not hers to sell and it was a great shock."
Police looked into the deal but the Crown Prosecution Service said it was unable to build a case against Mr Douglas and it was taken to a civil court.
Lord Huntingfield added: "Some old people are vulnerable to being pestered to sell their own possessions to complete strangers.
"I can't imagine a lot of old ladies finding £10,000 to try to get furniture back. There seems to be a gap in protecting old people from this sort of manipulation."
Kevin Douglas's solicitors said he had not tricked Lady Huntingfield and that she was fully aware of what she was doing.
Mr Douglas was unavailable for comment.