Art attacker guilty of possessing stolen books

A man previously jailed for damaging a €10m Monet painting has been found guilty of possessing 67 stolen antique books, including an extremely rare King James Bible.

Andrew Shannon, aged 51, was accused of illegally handling the books, which originated in the library of Carton House in Kildare, the historical family seat of the FitzGerald family.

The books, including a 1660 edition of the King James Bible, of which only six exist, went missing after they were put in storage during the restoration of the country house. Gardaí say they were later found in the house of Shannon during a search. Shannon told investigators that he bought the books at a fair or feté for about IR£300 and was using them to decorate his house.

Shannon, of Willans Way, Ongar, Dublin, pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the books at his home while knowing or being reckless as to whether they were stolen on March 3, 2007.

After a five-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty.

Shannon is on bail on this matter and was remanded on the same conditions. He is in custody in Shelton Abbey prison, where he is serving a prison term after being convicted in December 2014 of criminal damage to a €10m Monet painting in June 2012.


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