A metal detector enthusiast who claimed to have discovered hoards of valuable antiquities during years of treasure hunting has been convicted of selling modern fakes.
David Hutchings, known to fellow users as “Coldfeet”, was renowned for finding rare items. But his reputation lies in tatters after he pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and was jailed for six months.
Hutchings, 43, was the organiser of the Coventry Moles metal detecting club, which held archaeological searches across the Midlands. He used legitimate digs to “discover” fake items before passing them off as genuine antiquities. Some buyers were told that the items had been verified at the British Museum.
Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit raided his home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, after an Essex-based dealer raised concerns about a set of coins Hutchings was trying to sell.
During the searches they discovered . . .
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