But Did He Steal It?

Remember how librarian Richard Kuhta was handed a damaged copy of one of the Bard's First Folios for examination?

Yesterday, the man in possession of the priceless piece, Raymond Scott, 53, was found guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from the UK in relation to the book, which has been described as part of England's ''cultural legacy''. However he was cleared of stealing the work.

The charges relate to one of the surviving copies of the 1623 compendium of Shakespeare's plays which went missing from Durham University in 1998. It was handed in by Scott to the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC a decade later.

Scott was remanded in custody by Judge Richard Lowden, who told him: "There will, in due time, be an inevitable substantial custodial sentence."

The judge adjourned the case to a date to be fixed to allow a psychiatric report to be prepared.

The jury of seven women and five men heard that Scott was arrested after presenting the badly damaged folio to staff at the US library and asking for it to be verified as genuine.

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