OAP cleared of stealing mayor chains

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A DONCASTER pensioner has been cleared of handling valuable chains stolen from a Yorkshire mayor.

Anthony Howard walked free from Doncaster Crown Court “without a blot” on his character after the prosecution decided to drop the case against him.

The 68-year-old, who walks with a stick, had been charged with handling the £4,000 regalia worn by the mayor of Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire.

The chains were stolen in a burglary at the Coun Chris Henderson’s home.

Howard, of Blackwood Avenue, Balby, was alleged to have paid £20 when the silver chains, stolen in February, were offered to him in the Black Bull pub in Doncaster.

Howard had denied the allegation. But the crime victim says he is “disgusted” by the court’s decision.

When Howard attended court to be given a trial date, Carl Fitch, prosecuting, said: “The crown feels the defendant has got to this stage in his life with no convictions and the matter should not proceed because it would not be in the public interest.

“Hopefully Mr Howard will be more careful when purchasing things in pubs.”

Howard was arrested by police after a town centre jeweller was offered the regalia and became suspicious.

Coun Henderson said: “I am very disappointed and disgusted.”