In royal news, which sounds as though it's come straight from an episode of The Crown (and hey, maybe it will feature in a future series), a staffer from Buckingham Palace has been caught stealing and selling the items on eBay. The "significant quantity" of stolen goods include medals, gift shop trinkets and signed photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Adamo Canto, 37, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, who worked as a catering assistant at the royal residence, has since pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court to three counts of theft, taking place between 11 November 2019 and 7 August 2020. It's reported by the BBC that he will be sentenced at a later date at Southwark Crown Court.
It was revealed during the court case that Canto stole a staggering 77 items from the palace gift shop alone, over the nine month period. The court also heard that due to COVID- 19, Canto was able to access areas of the palace that he wouldn't previously be permitted to enter – he took items from staff lockers, the Queen's Gallery shop and the Duke of York's storeroom.
The stolen goods (which also included a royal state banquet photo album of US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK, worth £1,500) were then sold for a significantly lower price than their true value. Simon Maughan, prosecutor, estimated that the items were worth between £10,000 and £100,000 in total, but said Canto netted £7,741 for the crime.
During the hearing, Canto confessed to stealing a Companion of Bath medal belonging to the Master of the Household (Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt), which he then sold online for £350. Johnstone-Burt said in a statement that he initially realised the medal was missing when he needed to wear it for the Queen's annual Trooping the Colour event. He added he later heard from other staff members that stolen items had been listed on the online auction site.
Canto also pocketed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal that he found in the locker of former British Army officer Major General Richard Sykes.
Currently, Canto has been released on conditional bail and faces a possible jail sentence.
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