Corpus, Classics

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UPDATE: The Corpus silver thief has been jailed for two and a half years

UPDATE March 30th

The man who stole the Corpus silver has been jailed for two and a half years.

Scott Thomas had pleaded guilty to 17 offences, including the theft of the “priceless” items which he took in January.

It brings to an end an incredible saga which saw Thomas arrested after stealing the silver and attempting to sell it to an antiques dealer at a cut price.

Despite the majority of the “irreplaceable” items being melted down, police said they hope Corpus feel that they have now “received some justice for this mindless act.”

Scott was arrested two months ago after attempting to sell the high-value remaining items for a paltry £30, and faced other charges including bike theft and driving whilst disqualified.

Police were quick to highlight the role of the local shopkeeper,who alerted the authorities immediately, in bringing him to justice stating: “this case really highlights the importance of the public informing the police when a crime has been committed.”

UPDATE January 26th

Police have charged a man with the Corpus chapel theft, after recovering some of the stolen items.

The arrest occurred after the 37-year-old took the Ciborium, the Everyday Paten, and the Sunday (Knight) Paten, described by the college as “irreplaceable”, to an antiques dealer for valuation.

But the quick thinking shop-keeper, realised that “this wasn’t what we would call ‘right’” and alerted the authorities, as well as purchasing the items and returning them to the college.

The man will appear in Cambridge Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

UPDATE January 24th:

Some of the silverware stolen from Corpus Christi has been recovered after two weeks of searching. 

The Chapel’s stash of silver, described by the college as “irreplaceable” was robbed a fortnight ago.

Corpus have reassured worried Cantabs that they are pleased to report a number of the stolen items were recovered by the police.

Rumours are flying that the cops were helped in their investigation by a local shopkeeper.

While this is great news for the college, two items of the “very distinctive” silverware are still to be found.


Police are hunting a thief who filched silverware from Corpus Christi’s Chapel this Monday.

Two silver plates, two chalices and a ceremonial cup – all described by Corpus as “irreplaceable” – were stolen from a wooden chest in the chapel.

They were stolen between 4.30pm and 8.30 pm, when the chapel was open to the public. Nobody has been identified in connection with the crime.

Police image of the stolen silver

PC Simon Railer, who heads the investigation, made the following statement:

“These pieces of silverware are very distinctive and I would urge anyone with information on their whereabouts to call police.

Cambridgeshire Police told The Tab, “We do not know who the thief might be yet, nor the reason for the theft… CCTV footage taken by the college is currently being examined as part of PC Railer’s ongoing investigation”.

A Corpus spokesperson said “The college can confirm that a small number of objects were stolen from the college chapel.” They declined to comment further.

The college owns a large collection of valuable objects, including a medieval drinking horn, ancient manuscripts and a (now slightly less) substantial collection of silver. The most famous are the 6th century St Augustine Gospels, which were venerated by the Pope during his 2010 UK visit.

The Corpus incident is part of a nationwide increase in metal thefts, linked to the sharply rising market price of metal. Churches are frequent victims, with 2011 racking up more claims for stolen metals than any year on record.

Anyone with any information should call PC Railer on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

  • Mr Metal

    There's quite a big difference between stealing lead off a church rood and stealing silverwear.

  • informant

    It was Nick Clegg!

  • TPJ

    Don't ask me, I was training with the Under-21s!

    • Um…

      No one did ask you.

  • TPJ

    Wasn't me, I was at U21s training

  • Jean Valjean

    Took the silver, took my fligggghhhhhhhhhht!!!!!!1

  • I reckon

    it was PC Simon Railer

  • almost certainly

    BNV or BJN

  • bree

    saw all the silver away. didn't we

  • Shaggy

    Wasn' me

    • Bob Marley

      i stole the chalice. but i did not steal the deputy.

      • Tempa T

        What kind of things that you have
        When I find out don't expect me to stop
        I'll come for the P's that you stack
        And come for all the food that blot
        Better hand over the silver
        Your boys don't wanna see you shot
        If I kick down the door to your college
        Dun Know I'll clear out your chapel on the spot


        • The police forgot

          about Dre

  • Fly

    It was I.

  • Long John Silver


  • Silver Snatch

    Historians from Murray Edwards love my medieval drinking horn

    Trust me, just talk a bit of Italian and tell them you have something for them to examine between 1300 and 1453.

    Then after 3pm the time’s your own! And you have plenty of time left for one of the other choices in your Cambridge hat-trick – Geography, Land Economy, History Of Art.*

    *ASNAC has been disqualified as a "qualifying subject" due to all girls studying since 2009 have been found to look exactly like Phil Harding from Time Team.

  • corpusproperty4cash

    Gold or silver…

    Send it to us via UMS!

  • Everbotherto…

    … research? You could have found out that it's the chalices that are still missing, along with the spare wafer-box. We got back two patens and the ciborium (The box that we keep the wafers in during the service).

  • Some more research?

    Also you might want to mention that the thief broke into the (pretty damn hefty) chest – you make it sound like they just sauntered in and found them lying there.

  • Penickity Percy

    "The Chapel’s stash of silver, described by the college as “irreplaceable” was robbed a fortnight ago."

    Poor silverware.

    • Spelling Simon

      If you're going to be pernickety then be consistent.

  • more confused

    Yet more ammunition for those who claim mistreatment/disproportionate justice/abuse at the hands of Cambridge police and those involved with Cambridge’s justice system.

    For those University members with no political bias, or agenda – situations such as this cause us to find ourselves increasingly to find ourselves able to support or feel confidence with the Cambridge Constabulary and the Cambridge Magistrates Courts.

    Most tabs are aware of the accusations directed regarding the conduct of Cambs police and the local courts (irrespective of the issues) towards students – outside, say the Senate House, King’s College, or at the Cambridge Union this year (DSK) or last year (Pickles) etc etc.

    You only have to casually search you tube etc to be able top locate myriad video footage of Cambridge police adopting at best ‘vigorous’ approaches against Cambridge students.

    Yet this individual… seemingly had such an easy, easy ride.

    “A thief whose favourite targets were Cambridge University buildings and students”

    “Most of the thefts happened in the summer last year and targets included Clare, St Edmund’s and Corpus Christi colleges.”

    “He pleaded guilty to 17 offences at a previous hearing,”

    “RECKLESS driver Scott Thomas has been jailed for his 20th offence of getting behind the wheel while disqualified.”

    “freed in December from a one-year sentence behind bars – again for offences involving disqualified driving – Thomas detoxed while in prison and stayed away from drugs on his release. He had got himself a job at a signwriter's, added Mr Milsom.”

    The 22-year-old had been drinking with a friend, Scott Thomas, early on December 4 when he was caught on CCTV in Sidney Street.
    Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: “The CCTV shows Mr Hutter is accompanied by Mr Thomas and they both go up to a group of men. Mr Hutter suddenly punches one of the unknown men in the side of the neck.

    “Mitigating: Mark Shelley, mitigating, said his client, who has 29 previous convictions for 170 offences, did not know the history of the silverware, had co-operated with police as they tried to recover it and had admitted his guilt.”

    “Robert Milsom, in mitigation, said Thomas went out in the car, which belonged to a friend with whom he worked, after an SOS from a woman friend. The woman made a distress call from Mill Road and Thomas had answered the emergency without thinking, said Mr Milsom.”

  • more confused

    Whilst being interviewed for handling stolen goods he admitted the other 15 offences which go back to August 2011.
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