A gang has pleaded guilty to conspiring to handle £5m worth of stolen antiques from stately homes.
Carl Anthony Rutter, 46, of Silcoates Street, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to his part in the plot, which stretched from North Yorks to Sussex.
“Significant conspirator” Rutter, who will be sentenced next month along with two other men, had overall possession of a number of stolen antiques, which had been stored on his behalf with a view to being sold later.
“Lead conspirator” Darren St Patrick Webster, 45, of Burnshaw Mews, Leeds, and Brian Eaton, 69, of Tankersley, Barnsley, also admitted conspiracy.
Eaton introduced prospective buyers to his co-defendants. And 14 stolen items found in Eaton’s and Webster’s homes, included ones stolen from Newby Hall and Sion Hill, both North Yorks.
Head of Regional Intelligence, Det Supt Steve Waite, speaking of the year-long investigation by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “We were immensely pleased and proud back in September 2011 to have recovered these high value antiques which were described as true pieces of British heritage. Rutter’s plea brings this absolutely fantastic case one step closer to its conclusion. It’s a great result for both the officers involved and the stately homes that were affected by these thefts.”