Museum Security Network

Insider theft – A LIBRARY assistant stole thousands of pounds worth of books and then stored them alphabetically in a bookcase at his home

A LIBRARY assistant stole thousands of pounds worth of books and then stored them alphabetically in a bookcase at his home. Barry Charles Angove has worked at Barrow Library as a library assistant since 1996.

Angove, 62, hit the headlines back in 2004 after saving 800 books from the library when it was flooded and the basement flooded.
But earlier this year, his colleagues reported a number of missing books to the police and Angove was arrested.
A subsequent search at Angove’s home in Keith Street, Barrow, uncovered the hoard, worth around £4,800, lined neatly in alphabetical order on a bookcase, which he had stolen during a 12-year period.
At Lancaster Crown Court yesterday, Angove admitted the thefts, which occurred between December 1998 and April 2010.
His defence barrister, Mr Gareth James, said at the hearing: “He took these books and accepts he stole items to the value of £4,800. He has previous convictions for theft, one from another former employer, which are of some age.”
Angove had initially been charged with stealing books worth almost £6,000 from Cumbria County Council but pleaded guilty on the basis that the value had been £4,800.
Miss Sarah Johnson, prosecution barrister, said: “The sum total of the value is just short of £6,000, he accepts just short of £5,000. The crown maintain the value was just under £6,000.”
Judge Heather Lloyd ordered that the lower value did not make a significant difference to the likely sentence Angove would receive and that a trial of issue would determine the exact amount. He will next appear at Preston Crown Court on November 12 to be sentenced, following the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Judge Lloyd said: “The fact I am granting bail does not indicate the likely sentence you will receive. All sentencing options are open, including custody.”
Angove, who has worked at the library since 1996, had been suspended without prejudice from work following his arrest and is likely to be sacked since entering a guilty plea to stealing from his employer.
A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said after the hearing: “Stealing from your employer is a fundamental breach of trust as well as a criminal act. As Barry Angove’s employer was the local authority, he was stealing from the public purse as well.
“Cumbria County Council took the necessary disciplinary measures as soon as the theft came to light, suspending Barry Angove while there was an ongoing criminal investigation.
“Now that he has entered a guilty plea, the matter will be further progressed through the council’s disciplinary procedures.”
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