'Phoenix' book thief sentenced

  June 4, 2003 at 10:26 AM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via BBC)

From BBCopens in new window:

The man convicted of stealing pages from the eagerly-awaited Harry Potter book has been handed a community service order.

Donald Parfitt, 44, of Worlingham, Suffolk, had earlier admitted taking the pages from the printing firm Clays, where he was employed. He said he found the pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the car park and tried to sell them on to a newspaper for £25,000.

Magistrates in Lowestoft ordered Parfitt to carry out the 180 hours' community service and also pay £55 costs.

The defendant told the court that he had not planned the theft and it had acted impulsively on finding the pages lying in the car park of the printing firm in Bungay, Suffolk.

On sentencing Parfitt, magistrates' chairman Bunty Hunt said they had considered sending him to jail.

"We have considered the serious breach of trust and the high potential value," she said. "But the mitigating factors are the remorse that you have shown, your early guilty plea and the fact that it was an impulsive act."

Thanks very much to Geri for alerting us to this news.


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