For some reason I see this as a Benny Hill sketch, complete with racy music and a man being chased in fast time by irate authors. Or George Formby singing "When I'm cleaning windows".
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Booker Prize judge has rare literary letters stolen from his house by his own handyman
- Churchill speech and TS Eliot letter among documents taken
- Thief returned papers but is jailed for 30 months
Devastated: Dr Gekoski admitted he was at first very upset by the theft, but later forgave his former employee
A handyman stole a treasure trove of manuscripts by famous figures including Sir Winston Churchill, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and TS Eliot, from a Man Booker Prize judge.
Tyrone Somers, a university graduate, was working for Dr Rick Gekoski, who specialises in rare manuscripts, when he stole £36,000 worth of treasured papers.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Somers, 41, had been asked by Dr Gekoski to do some work over a weekend in July, when he would be away from his home property in Bathurst Mews, west London.
He arranged for Somers to collect the key from a neighbour.
Prosecutor Abigail White told the court: 'On the Monday, Mr Gekoski discovered a large number of highly valuable manuscripts and documents had been stolen from his house.'
Among these 'extremely valuable items' were documents by Kingsley Amis, a speech by wartime prime minister Churchill, typed letters and Christmas cards by poet Eliot and a typed letter by poet Ted Hughes.