Buckingham Palace: Catering assistant stole medals and photos

Publishedduration6 hours agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightKirsty O"Connor/PA Wire image captionAdamo Canto admitted stealing medals and photographs from the Palace

A Buckingham Palace catering assistant has admitted stealing medals and photographs from the Queen's residence.

Adamo Canto, 37, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court to three counts of theft between 11 November 2019 and 7 August 2020.

Police found a "significant quantity" of stolen items at his quarters at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace.

Canto, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date.

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During the Covid-19 pandemic, Canto's role was changed to include more cleaning which offered him access to offices and other areas he would not normally have been given, the court was told.

Some of the stolen goods, worth between £10,000 and £100,000, were listed for sale on eBay, prosecutor Simon Maughan said.

A total of 37 items were offered for sale "well under" their true value on eBay, Mr Maughan said, with Canto making £7,741.

One item was a royal state banquet photo album of US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK, worth £1,500.

Canto also took official signed photographs of the Duke of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Some 77 items were taken from the palace shop, while others were stolen from places such as staff lockers, the Queen's Gallery shop and the Duke of York's storeroom, the court heard.

Canto admitted stealing a Companion of Bath medal belonging to the Master of the Household, which was sold online for £350.

In a statement, Vice Admiral Master Tony Johnstone-Burt said he first realised the medal was missing because he needed to wear it for the Queen's Trooping the Colour and was later told by staff that stolen items were for sale online.

Canto also stole a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order medal from the locker of former British Army officer Maj Gen Richard Sykes, which was given to him by the Queen in 2010.

District Judge Alexander Jacobs released Canto on conditional bail and warned he faced a possible jail sentence.

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