Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:35 UK

Royal photo theft pair sentenced

Prince William and Kate Middleton
The royal couple's photos were of a Caribbean holiday

Two men have been sentenced for stealing a memory stick containing holiday photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The stick containing the pictures was stolen from the car of Ms Middleton's sister in Kensington, central London, in August 2008.

Charlie Ewins, 26, and Leon Sesay, 25, said they had found the memory stick in a gutter, Kingston Crown Court heard.

The pair, who had admitted theft, must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

'Dumb and Dumber'

Robert Evans, prosecuting, told the court Pippa Middleton's bag, containing the stick, had been taken from her car on August 29 after a door had been left open by her friend.

The Sun's associate news editor received a call from the pair, using false names, at 1240 BST and arranged a meeting with them at Paddington train station at 1700 BST.

You are essentially fools for whom things have spiralled out of control.
Recorder Martyn Barklem

Ewins and Sesay were then invited to The Sun's Wapping headquarters to discuss payment.

The newspaper, which saw the images, reported they showed Prince William wearing a woman's hat and his girlfriend doing yoga wearing a bikini.

The defendants were offered £25,000 by The Sun for the pictures, taken on a Middleton family holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

But the pair turned it down, saying they wanted £50,000 for the photographs, and were then reported to police by the newspaper.

Referring to the film starring Jim Carrey, Recorder Martyn Barklem said: "Counsel described you as 'Dumb and Dumber'. That is not that inaccurate a characterisation of you both.

"You are essentially fools for whom things have spiralled out of control."

Ewins, from Lisson Grove, St John's Wood, and Sesay, from Blomfield Villas, Royal Oak, were also each ordered to pay £125 court costs.

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