Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Man remanded on book theft charges

A man has appeared in court accused of stealing books worth £40,000 from the Royal Horticultural Society's London library.

William Jacques, 40, of no fixed address, appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He is charged with stealing 13 volumes by the 19th Century author Ambroise Verschaffelt.

The thefts are alleged to have taken place between December 2006 and February 2007.

Mr Jacques, a Cambridge University graduate, has not entered a plea against the charges and was remanded in custody.

The missing volumes of Nouvelle Iconographies des Camellias contain a variety of coloured plates of camellias by the Belgian author and explanatory text. None of the books have been traced.

The library, in Vincent Square, central London, contains books, journals, pictures and art on practical gardening, its history and design, dating back to 1514.

Mr Jacques was arrested on 25 December in Selby, North Yorkshire.

He also faces a charge of going equipped to commit theft and will next appear at the same court on 21 January.

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