UK art dealer jailed for stealing works by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood

LONDON (Reuters) – A British art dealer who abused his position by stealing clients’ artworks, including many paintings by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, was jailed on Tuesday, the state prosecution service said.

The artworks, taken over a 27-year period, included portraits of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Marilyn Monroe and model Kate Moss painted by Wood, who has pursued his love of painting in parallel with his career as a rock musician.

Art dealer Jonathan Poole, 69, whose clients included the estates of Miles Davis and of John Lennon as well as wealthy art collectors, surreptitiously sold some of their possessions and pocketed the profits. He also took percentages of legitimate sales to which he was not entitled.

Poole made over 500,000 pounds ($ 664,000) from the thefts, which took place between 1986 and 2013.

He was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court in western England to four years in prison after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to 26 charges of fraud and theft.

The stolen artworks were by multiple artists and included a portrait of Princess Diana, as well as other types of pictures unrelated to celebrities.

“All of the pieces of art are extremely valuable and there is no doubt Poole was well aware of this,” said James Ward of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Wood, who attended art college in his youth, has recently published a book of his artworks, entitled “Ronnie Wood Artist”, which he has been promoting through television appearances and book signings.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison

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Reuters: Arts

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