Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Shakespeare accused faces court

Raymond Scott was charged with three counts of theft

A man accused of stealing a Shakespeare folio worth 3m from Durham University 10 years ago, has appeared in court.

Raymond Scott of Wingate, County Durham, was charged with three counts of theft and three counts of handling stolen goods at Consett Magistrates.

The 51-year-old entered no plea on Tuesday and magistrates declined jurisdiction and adjourned proceedings until 14 April.

The case is expected to be transferred to the crown court.

Mr Scott was released on conditional bail.

The antique dealer was originally arrested in June last year on suspicion of taking the 1623 folio in 1998 from Durham University.

The investigation began after a man walked into the world-renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC with the 400-year-old book, claiming to have discovered it in Cuba, and asked for it to be verified as genuine.

Experts suspected the book was stolen and called in the British Embassy, Durham Police and the FBI.

Detectives from the Durham force brought the folio back to the UK after they travelled to the United States last October.

Mr Scott publicly denied the theft, and in an interview said that when the book was stolen 10 years ago he would not have known the difference between a Shakespeare first folio and a "paperback Jackie Collins".



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