[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 12:42 GMT
Guard jailed for Harry book theft
The blank-firing pistol that was used by a security guard
The blank-firing pistol that was used by a security guard
A security guard has been jailed for four-and-a-half-years for a firearms offence linked to the theft of a Harry Potter book before it was released.

Aaron Lambert, 20, of Kettering, admits threatening a newspaper reporter with an imitation pistol while trying to sell two stolen copies of the novel.

Lambert took copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from the Corby distribution centre where he worked.

He later fired the starting pistol at The Sun reporters from his doorstep.

He was arrested after two deals with national newspaper reporters went wrong and armed police swooped on his flat.

While on bail Lambert twice phoned publishers Bloomsbury to extort money from them, threatening to reveal the contents of the keenly-anticipated novel.

JK Rowling
Copies of Rowling's latest book were stolen six weeks before release

Lambert has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing two copies of the book.

He also admitted possessing an imitation firearm and two counts of trying to blackmail Potter publishers Bloomsbury.

Nina Graham, defending, said he was of previous good character and asked for credit for his guilty plea.

"It was a dishonest, stupid act showing a lack of foresight." She described what he did as "immature and inept".

She said Lambert's use of bodybuilding drugs had affected his behaviour and personality.

"There was a marked change in Mr Lambert's personality as he pursued his bodybuilding interests. He was taking steroids to an almost unsupportable level."

She said he had now lost his aggressive tendencies having been remanded in custody.

Sentencing him Judge Richard Bray said: "You realised the books had considerable potential value.

"It was only through the good services of the press and police that fans of Harry Potter - both young and old were able to read the book without their pleasure being polluted by the premature publication of the plot."

Potter book thief admits threats
20 Dec 05 |  Northamptonshire


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


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific