Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Smiths' Johnny Marr reunited with stolen guitar

Johnny Marr
Marr offered a reward for the guitar's return in 2000

Former-Smiths star Johnny Marr has said he is "ecstatic" after getting back one of his guitars stolen 10 years ago.

Fan Stephen White, 38, admitted taking the £30,000 cherry red 1964 Gibson SG when he went backstage after a gig in the Scala nightclub in Kings Cross.

Mr White told a London court he was "disgusted" with himself for taking the instrument after police found it at his north London home following a tip-off.

The court sentenced him to 200 hours of community service.

"There's a victim here. I can't reconcile myself with the behaviour of that night," Mr White said.

He added that the stolen guitar had been displayed in his living room since the theft occurred in 2000.

Mr White's solicitor told the court his client had been taking anti-depressants at the time which he had combined with alcohol, lowering his inhibitions.

Marr was so upset by the theft, he had offered a reward for information leading to its return.

PC Christopher Swain said the musician was happy to have the guitar back and "bears no malice" against Mr White.

"The guitar did have a high sentimental value to him. Initially, he thought he had been targeted by a professional thief but when the details came to light he said he didn't want the matter to go further," he said.

A spokesman for Marr, who is currently in New Zealand with his band The Cribs said: "He is obviously very happy to have his guitar returned."



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