News 3 April 2024

Man pleads guilty to stealing £4.8m gold toilet from palace

3 April 2024

A man has confessed to the audacious heist of an 18-carat gold toilet valued at a staggering £4.8 million from Blenheim Palace, while three other individuals pleaded not guilty to charges related to the theft.

During a virtual appearance at Oxford Crown Court today, 39-year-old James Sheen, currently incarcerated at HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, admitted to burglary, transferring criminal property, and conspiracy to commit the same offences.

Sheen, hailing from Wellingborough, is already serving a 17-year sentence for various thefts, including ATM robberies, as well as the theft of £400,000 worth of tractors and high-value trophies from the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket.

The toilet, part of an art installation named “America”, was snatched in September 2019 from the palace. This installation, conceived by artist Maurizio Cattelan, had been previously displayed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York before its relocation to Blenheim Palace.

The trial for Jones, Does, and Guccuk is scheduled for February 24, 2025, with Jones facing burglary charges and Does and Guccuk charged with conspiracy to transfer criminal property.

[Image created via MidJourney]