Cotswold art dealer jailed for four years

 

A Cotswold art dealer has today been sentenced to four years in prison after admitting to stealing or defrauding clients out of nearly half-a-million pounds of artwork over three decades.

Jonathan Poole, aged 69 and of Poulton, near Cirencester, pleaded guilty to 26 offences which ranged from 1986 to 2013.

Due to the complexity of the case, it took over four years of detailed investigation work by Gloucestershire Constabulary to follow the trail of Poole’s offences which resulted in a number of victims being identified.

Poole was charged with multiple offences which included pocketing a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the art or falsely claiming to be entitled to sell artworks owned by clients.

These included works by the Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, German artist Sebastian Krüger and French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Detective Constable Steve Crilley of the Major Crime Investigation Team, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a complex case which has taken a number of years to get to the bottom of so I am glad to see Poole will be behind bars for four years.

“Thankfully I have been able to reunite nearly all of the victims with their artwork and they have all been very patient and helpful in what has had to be a long investigation.

“Poole was once a successful man and his victims trusted him to take care of their valuable artwork. Sadly he has now tarnished his once good name and he will have to live with that shame for the rest of his life.

“People who commit offences such as these do so for their own selfish personal gain with no regard for the victims.”

Poole was today, Tuesday 12 September, sentenced to four years in custody. He will face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing later this year.