Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 16:06 UK

Da Vinci case: The accused

The case has just concluded at the High Court in Edinburgh of five men accused of conspiring to extort £4.25m for the return of a Leonardo da Vinci artwork.

BBC Scotland's Willie Johnston followed the proceedings and here he describes the characters involved.

MARSHALL RONALD
Marshall Ronald

A solicitor from Skelmersdale in Lancashire. He was described in court as a "Walter Mitty" figure with a penchant for "melodramatic" language.

The "art project" was said to have taken over his life.

When asked to comment on Ronald's negotiation of an additional £2.25m payment for himself, co-accused Robbie Graham said he was "guilty of being a very greedy man".

ROBERT GRAHAM
Robert Graham

From Ormskirk in Lancashire, he was nicknamed "The Silver Fox" because of his shock of light grey hair, he was also described in court as a "loveable rogue".

As well as running pubs in the Merseyside area he was a partner with Jack Doyle in Crown Private Investigations and Stolen Stuff Re-United.

For him, getting the painting back was "the right thing to do" and he was "proud" to do so. As for the reward, he said £50,000 would have been "fantastic wages".

JOHN 'JACK' DOYLE
John Doyle

Also from Ormskirk in Lancashire. Robbie Graham's partner in Crown Private Investigations and Stolen Stuff Re-United.

He was the trial's "silent man", exercising his right not to give evidence.

However, the court heard from others that Doyle had not fully trusted Marshall Ronald and was fearful that "John Craig" was a policeman setting them up for a sting.

He wanted to walk away from the project but was persuaded to remain by Graham.

CALUM JONES
Calum Jones

A solicitor from Kilmacolm in Renfrewshire specialising in corporate and insolvency work. He initially advised Marshall Ronald to approach the loss adjuster.

Later, he helped Ronald draw up a contract and arranged for the boardroom of HBJ Gateley Wareing to be made available for the painting's handover.

However, he said he never really believed that would happen. He said he had not taken the project seriously at first and, later, told Marshall Ronald he was being conned.

DAVID BOYCE
David Boyce

The Airdrie man was a highly respected and successful senior partner of Boyd's solicitors and then HBJ Gateley Wareing, specialising in commercial property work.

He had dealt with Marshall Ronald once before and would get occasional texts from him containing jokes and banter about football.

It was to Boyce that Ronald turned when seeking Scottish legal advice and to give the project what Ronald described as "the cloak of credibility" he lacked as a sole practitioner in England.



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