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Priceless literary papers stolen from Booker judge's home

27th September 2011

A man has been jailed after stealing a volume of correspondence containing letters and private notes by some of the greatest literary figures from the house of a Man Booker Prize judge.

Window cleaner Tyrone Somers, 41, of Clapham, South London, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after taking the priceless collection from the home of Rick Gekoski, who judged the 2005 Man Booker Prize and this year's Man Booker International Prize.

The theft occurred on July 23rd this year when Mr Somers was given the keys to Gekoski's home to carry out maintenance work, but stole the works along with a laptop and cash.

Among the stolen items was private correspondence by Kingsley Amis, T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, Henry Moore and Virginia Woolf, which had been compiled by Gekoski, a rare bookseller, over a number of years.

However, Mr Somers later handed in the items to a police station and Dr Gekoski said he has been able to forgive the thief.

'He thought better of what he'd done. I was very sorry to lose all of them and of course I was relieved to have them back,' he added.

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