UK 'Tome Raider' jailed again

William Jacques, 41, stole antique books worth £40,000 ($60,750) from the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Library in London, a court heard.

He is accused of having taken the books some time between June 2004 — when an audit of the volumes was last undertaken — and March 2007, the Press Association reported.
The library holds books, journals, pictures and art on gardening, garden history, plants and design dating back to 1514.

Jacques used a false name to sign into the Lindley library before stuffing the books under his jacket and fleeing, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Recorder Michael Holland told Jacques: “You have absolutely no intention of turning away from what seems to you to be an extremely lucrative and easy crime.” Such crimes “undermine and destroy parts of the cultural heritage that’s contained within these libraries,” the judge added.

Jacques, who studied at Cambridge University and was a member of both the British Library and the London Library, has plundered more than £1 million worth of historic books from British libraries. He was previously jailed for four years in May 2002 for 21 counts of theft.

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