A former employee of the Queen, Adamo Canto, has been sentenced to eight months in prison after stealing numerous items from the royal household. The catering assistant, who had worked in Buckingham Palace since 2015, began his crusade of pinching memorabilia in November 2019, and continued right up until he was caught with the goods in his palace quarters in August 2020.
Among the items Canto stole - which are estimated to have been valued anywhere up to £100,000 - were some signed pictures of Prince William and Kate Middleton and a photo album of the banquet held for Donald Trump's state visit in 2019. He also stole a number of jewellery pieces - including a brooch, two gold pocket watch necklaces and a Buckingham Palace Limited Edition pocket watch - as well as a medal belonging to the Queen's Master of the Household. A pretty extensive royal haul, all in all.
37-year-old Canto then went on to sell some of the items online, reportedly making just over £7,000 despite the larger actual value of the items. It's not known exactly how police cottoned on to Canto's stealing, but when they searched his quarters at Buckingham Palace's Royal Mews, they discovered a "significant quantity" of illicit goods.
The Buckingham Palace employee was subsequently arrested, and he went on to admit three counts of theft by an employee. This week, he was sentenced to eight months in prison as a result.
The judge in court, Judge David Tomlinson, acknowledged that Adamo Canto had committed the crime of theft because he was "in some financial difficulty" and had "found that this was the way out." However, it was also noted in court that he sold many of the items well under their actual value.
"[There is a] flavour of disparity between retail value and what the items stole for," said the judge. "You stole two gold pocket watch necklaces with retail of £790 each, for £23.22. You sold one purple silk Buckingham Palace, a brooch... and a Buckingham Palace Limited Edition pocket watch retailing at £995 for £100."
The judge took into account that Canto didn't have a previous record, but due to the fact that the offences were deemed "so serious," he concluded that "only a sentence of immediate custody is justified."
Buckingham Palace hasn't passed any public comment on the former employee.
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