Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 17:41 UK

Fakes con netted potter thousands

Jeremy Broadway
Broadway was unfit to appear or plead at court

A talented potter conned dealers and collectors out of thousands of pounds by passing off ceramics he made at home as valuable collectors' items.

Jeremy Broadway, 52, made the pieces, which he said were by famous potters, at his home in Child Okeford, Dorset.

He then sold the replicas through dealers such as Bonhams and Christie's.

Sixteen charges of obtaining property and money by deception were proved against Broadway in his absence. He was given a one-year supervision order.

The sentence was passed down at Bournemouth Crown Court last November, but the case can only now be reported after charges against his wife Catherine, 52, were dropped on Monday.

'Fully-equipped studio'

Broadway was not declared mentally fit to plead but was found guilty in his absence. He received one-year supervision orders for each of the 16 charges to run concurrently.

Speaking about the case on Thursday, Det Con Jon Bayliff, of Weymouth CID, said : "The amount of time this deception went on for - and the number of people duped - is staggering.

Fake pot
Broadway's fake pots fooled dealers around the world

"When officers searched Jeremy Broadway's home, they found a fully-equipped studio - with kilns and firing notes - in an outbuilding.

"They also found unfinished fired Lucie Rie replicas and a pressure stamp similar to that found on the fake Leach pieces."

Broadway's con started in 2004 when he contacted Bonhams in London claiming he had some pots he would like valued on behalf of a "little old lady" in the village who had inherited them.

Bonhams received an email with photographs of what appeared to be a Bernard Leach vase which sold at auction on November 9, 2004 for 7,000.

The vase was later recovered and examined by John Leach - one of Bernard's grandsons and an internationally renowned master potter in his own right - who found it was a fake.

Broadway continued to sell his fakes until 2006 when the police were contacted.


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