A prolific pensioner art thief has been sentenced to two years in jail. Police are now calling for help to locate a painting that he stole from a private members’ club in London.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Laura Chesters
Paul Whiting, 73, of Hounslow in west London, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court after he stole Park by the artist Frederick Deane (b.1924) from a west London club. The painting, valued at around £5000, is still missing and the police are appealing for its return.
He pleaded guilty to one count of theft and was remanded in custody pending the sentencing on April 3.
Whiting stole the painting in November 2018 and was identified from CCTV by detectives from the Met’s Arts & Antiques Unit.
At Isleworth Crown Court, Whiting also pleaded guilty to a separate count of burglary relating to an offence at Fenton House, a National Trust property in North West London, where he stole a barometer, subsequently returning it the following day. He handed it back wrapped in bubble wrap and in this case, Whiting was identified forensically by his fingerprint on the bubble wrap.
DC Sophie Hayes, Art and Antiques Unit, said: “Paul Whiting is a prolific thief who specifically targets works of art. He often sells the pieces on to people who are unaware of his criminal activities. The painting stolen in this case has not yet been located and I appeal to anyone who may have inadvertently bought this painting to contact the Art and Antiques Unit.”
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of the painting is asked to contact the Met on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or email Art and Antiques Unit on artandantiques-SCD6@met.police.uk.
In 2017 Whiting was sentenced to eight months’ jail at Swindon Crown Court. At the time of his arrest in November 2016 he told officers he had committed the offences to “make ends meet”.