Jail for drug-dealer found with £1m stolen painting

A KINGSTON man found with a stolen million-pound painting has been jailed.

Harry Fisher, 28, admitted to charge of handling stolen goods after the painting, stolen from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham, Berkshire, was found in his town centre flat.

Further searches of his family home in Fulham and his car also uncovered a supply of drugs with a street value estimated to be £450,000.

He was sentenced to eight years and eight months at Kingston Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and acquiring criminal property.

The Metropolitan Police’s Organised Crime Command arrested Fisher on June 15 after they stopped his vehicle in Strood, Kent.

A passenger in the vehicle, Zak Lal, 32, was also arrested and has pleased guilty to the same charges as Fisher, and admitted to a charge of possession of an offensive weapon – a knife he was carrying at the time of his arrest. He was jailed for five years and eight months at the same hearing.

Detective Inspector Andy Whitewood, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “These two men were caught in possession of a considerable amount of class A drugs as the result of a proactive investigation targeting high end, organised drug supply.

“A search of Fisher’s address revealed a stolen £1m painting. This demonstrates the link between drugs trafficking and serious, acquisitive crime.

“The sentences handed to these defendants should act as a deterrent to anyone else involved in the supply of illegal drugs.”

The painting, ‘Cookham from Englefield’, had been reported stolen in 2012.

A spokesman for the Stanley Spencer Gallery said: “Our volunteers are immensely grateful to the various police sections who have contributed to the recovery of this remarkable painting, stolen from us more than five years ago.”