Somerset

Eleven men deny involvement in Bulmers family art theft

Endymion Image copyright georgefredericwatts.org
Image caption A total of 15 paintings were stolen, including Endymion by George Frederic Watts

Eleven men have denied offences linked to the theft of millions of pounds of artwork and jewellery from a cider-making family's luxury home.

Paintings worth £1.7m and jewellery worth £1m were stolen from Esmond and Susie Bulmer's home in Bruton, Somerset, in 2009.

The men denied offences including conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

They will face trial on 4 June at Bristol Crown Court.

Most of the paintings stolen during the burglary - such as Endymion by 19th Century painter George Frederic Watts - have since been recovered.


The 11 men are:

  • Liam Judge, 41, of Crypt Court, Tuffley, Gloucester, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle
  • Matthew Evans, 40, of Coral Close, Tuffley, Gloucester, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle
  • Skinder Ali, 38, whose address was listed as HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to receive stolen goods
  • Jonathan Rees, 62, of Village Close, Weybridge, Surrey, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud and committing a series of acts intending to pervert the course of justice
  • Donald Maliska, 62, of Old Brompton Road, London, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Mark Regan, 45, whose address was listed as HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods
  • David Price, 52, of Virginia Court, Camden, London, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Ike Obiamiwe, 55, of The Drive, Sutton, Surrey, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud
  • Thomas Lynch, 42, of St Benedict's Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods
  • Nigel Blackburn, 60, of Broad Street, Birmingham, pleaded not guilty to controlling criminal property
  • Azhar Mir, 64, of Bufferys Close, Hillfield, Solihull, West Midlands, pleaded not guilty to controlling criminal property

Judge Julian Lambert released Mr Ali and Mr Regan on technical unconditional bail while their co-accused were all released on unconditional bail.

Art collector Mr Bulmer was a Conservative MP - first for Kidderminster from 1974 then for Wyre Forest from 1983 until 1987.

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