[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Man sentenced over Beatles' tapes
The Beatles
The rare tapes went missing in 1969
A man who tried to sell stolen tapes of the Beatles' final recording sessions has been given a suspended sentence.

Colin Dillon, 39, from Crowthorne, Berkshire, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to handling stolen goods.

Dillon was given a four-month sentence suspended for two years for trying to sell tapes made for the Let It Be album, worth around 250,000.

Dillon was arrested with Nigel Oliver, 55, who was placed under a two-year supervision order on Friday.

Oliver, from Slough, Berkshire, had been charged with two counts of handling stolen goods. He was made the subject of a supervision order under the Mental Health Act after being found unfit to plead.

Judge Jeremy McMullen, at Southwark Crown Court, had called Oliver the driving force behind the transactions and said had he stood trial and been convicted, he could have faced a four-year jail sentence.

The tapes, known as the Get Back Sessions, went missing shortly after the recording of the album in 1969.

Dillon and Oliver were arrested in January 2003 after an undercover operation was launched when pirate copies of the recordings were found during raids in the UK.

During Oliver's court case, original Beatles road manager Neil Aspinall told the court: "These tapes have huge commercial value."

One-off performances

Mr Aspinall, who is now managing director of the Beatles' Apple company, said the tapes contained more than 200 one-off performances.

The tapes were made to accompany film footage of the band which was eventually made into the 1970 film Let It Be, he added.

After the case, the IFPI, the worldwide recording industry trade group, said the pirate copies had been made "widely available" across Europe and the US.

Michael Ellis, head of European investigations for the IFPI, said it had worked with the City of London Police during unprecedented investigations which were "demanding and challenging".

"Today's verdict shows that piracy, which annually costs the worldwide music industry billions of pounds, is taken seriously and will always be investigated thoroughly," he said.

Beatles tape seller spared jail
14 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Beatles' final sessions 'stolen'
11 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
'Priceless' Beatles tapes discovered
10 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Unheard Beatles album 'planned'
15 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Beatles lose Apple court battle
08 May 06 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific