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Carer may face jail for medal theft

PUBLISHED: 10:58 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:33 03 July 2010

A CARER was warned she could face jail after she was convicted of stealing a valuable medal struck to commemorate Nelson's famous victory in the Battle of the Nile from a 94-year-old woman she was meant to be helping.

A CARER was warned she could face jail after she was convicted of stealing a valuable medal struck to commemorate Nelson's famous victory in the Battle of the Nile from a 94-year-old woman she was meant to be helping.

Margery Cox, 44, who had been employed as a carer by Westminster Homecare, stole the Davison's Nile Medal from a collection which had been built up by the late husband of pensioner Violet Hicks.

Cox pocketed £800 after selling the medal and a few low- value coins to Clive Dennett, in St Benedict's in Norwich. The theft of the silver-gilt medal, which was encased in an unusual glass case, was discovered when Mrs Hicks' daughter found the medal missing from a box where it was kept and it emerged that Cox had sold a similar medal.

Cox, of Medeswell Close, Brundall, had denied stealing the medal between September 8, 2007 and March 29, 2008 but was convicted by a Norwich Crown Court jury after two hours.

Her case was adjourned for reports until April 22 but Judge Paul Downes told Cox that the medal she had stolen was of particular sentimental value to Mrs Hicks family and said the theft had had been in “breach of trust”.

He warned her that custody was a “likely” sentence.

The stolen medal was one which prize agent Alexander Davison had made in 1798 to commemorate the victory of the Battle of the Nile. The medals were presented to all who took part in the action - in gold to Nelson and his captains, in silver to other officers, gilt bronze to petty officers and bronze to seamen and marines. The medal which belonged to Mrs Hicks was unusual in that it was silver gilt and had been encased in a glass capsule and kept in a red leather box to preserve it in mint condition.

The jury heard how one expert had described the medal as one of the “nicest examples” he had seen, and in his opinion it was “unique”.

Cox had tried to claim that the medal had been in her family for years and had been bought by her late husband.

But when Cox was questioned about it, she could not give much detail.

However Mrs Hicks daughter Margaret Rome said her father Stuart had been an avid collector of medals and coins and the Davison's Medal had been his “pride and joy” and was able to give a detailed description to police of the medal which had been in her family for more than 40 years.

Following the case the police are hoping to promptly return the medal to the family.


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