Picasso thief signs away right to haul

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts - Credit: Archant

A woman who stole antiques and art, including a Picasso, from the Dowager Countess Bathurst has signed away her right to any of the valuables seized from her Colyton home.

Kim Roberts agreed, at Gloucester Crown Court, she had no claim to the items on a prosecution list - even though she claimed she had painted some of the specified pictures herself.

Last year, Roberts, 60, a former show jumper who stole from the countess while working as her housekeeper, was jailed for three years.

She is still serving her sentence and was brought to court last week for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, at which a judge would have been asked to certify how much she made from crime and what assets could be confiscated from her.

But prosecutor Robert Duvall said he would withdraw the application if she signed a document listing everything which had been seized by the police. By signing, she would relinquish any claim to the property on the list, he said.

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Sarah Venn, for Roberts, said there was an issue about a clock, which Roberts claimed belonged to her. But she said the Crown were prepared to remove that from the list.

“She does tell me that she had other items including a mobile phone, but I assume that anything not on the list will be returned to her,” said Ms Venn.

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Roberts was handed the list to sign in the dock and said: “I am happy to sign this, but there are items which belonged to me and my grandfather. Some of the works of art I painted myself!”

When Roberts was jailed last year she was told by a judge her offences had been ‘greedy and calculated.’ She had pleaded guilty to theft from Lady Bathurst’s Cirencester home in April 2013.

She also admitted burglary and theft from Lady Bathurst’s London flat in April/May 2013, theft of a Volvo X90 car from another former employer, interior designer Emily Olympitis, and fraud.

Police arrested Roberts when she went to a London club to discuss selling a stolen painting with an art expert. Her home in Colyton was then searched and more than 50 antiques and paintings were found and seized.

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