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Former Downham police officer told to pay back £15,000 for rare coin theft

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A former West Norfolk police officer, who was jailed for his involvement in the theft of rare seventh century coins, has been ordered to repay £15,000 for his crime.

David Cockle, 50, who served at the Downham police station, is currently serving a 16-month prison term, imposed in March, having earlier pleaded guilty to theft.

He has now been made the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Confiscation Order to the sum of £15,000, following a fresh hearing at Ipswich Crown Court last Wednesday.

He was ordered to pay the full sum within six months or face a sentence of nine months in jail in default.

During 2014 and 2015 Cockle, who had been given permission to pursue his metal detecting hobby on farmland, located a number of Merovingian Tremissis gold coins.

The items were believed to derive from seventh century Gaul and estimated to be valued at around £4,000 each.

But he failed to report the find and instead sought to sell them to reap the maximum reward from his discovery.

Detective Inspector Rob Turner from Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) welcomed a “highly satisfactory outcome.

He said: “The order made by the court in this case once more reinforces the message that crime does not pay.”

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