Barometer burglar jailed after stealing antique from Hampstead’s Fenton House

Paul Whiting. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Paul Whiting. Picture: Metropolitan Police - Credit: Archant

A burglar has been jailed for two years after stealing an antique barometer from Hampstead National Trust property Fenton House.

The Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears

The Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Paul Whiting, 73, of Lampton Road in Hounslow pleaded guilty to stealing the item on June 15 2017, and also taking a painting from a private members club in November last year.

Shortly after 5pm, he went into the house in Hampstead Grove and took the barometer off the wall while the property was closed for a private function.

However he returned the next day to give back the barometer. Just after midday, he rang the doorbell and handed it back, wrapped in bubble wrap, to the manager.

He was later identified by his fingerprints on the bubble wrap.

Park by Frederick Deane. Picture: Met Police

Park by Frederick Deane. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

At Isleworth Crown Court yesterday, he also pleaded guilty to stealing a painting from a private members’ club in West London on November 23.

He walked into the reception area of the club carrying two plastic bags. CCTV footage then showed him walk through the members-only area and out again carrying a wooden-framed square object in one of the plastic bags.

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Staff realised that the painting, Park by Frederick Deane had been stolen. Whiting had entered a guest bedroom and removed the painting which was screwed to the wall.

Det Con Sophie Hayes, from the Met’s Art and Antiques Unit, said: “Paul Whiting is a prolific thief who specifically targets works of art. He often sells the pieces on to people who are unaware of his criminal activities.

“The painting stolen in this case has not yet been located and I appeal to anyone who may have inadvertently bought this painting to contact the Art and Antiques Unit.”

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