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Last Updated: Thursday January 19 2006 15:05 GMT

Harry Potter thief sent to prison

New Potter cover
A man who stole a copy of the latest Harry Potter book has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Aaron Lambert, 20, tried to sell a copy of the Half-Blood Prince six weeks before it was due to be released to a journalist from The Sun newspaper.

But after the sale went wrong, Mr Lambert accidentally shot a replica handgun at the reporter.

The books were stolen from a distribution centre in Corby on 2 June last year.

Mr Lambert also admitted trying to get money from publishers Bloomsbury, after threatening to reveal the secrets contained in the JK Rowling book.

After sentencing, Judge Richard Bray told him: "It was only through the good services of the press and police that this was prevented and fans of Harry Potter, young and old, were able to read this book without their pleasure being polluted."

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