12th July 2024

Metal Detectorists George Powell and Layton Davies convicted of stealing £3m hoard.

Viking Hoard Theft

Last month we reported on  a court case involving the theft of a hoard of Viking/Anglo Saxon coins and jewellery estimated to be worth £3m. You can read that article here. We can now report that George Powell and Layton Davies have been convicted of failing to declare the collection of treasure dating back to the reign of King Alfred the Great.

Powell, 38, and Davies, 51, were also convicted alongside two other men, 60-year-old Paul Wells and Simon Wicks, 57, with conspiring to conceal the find.

Wicks, Powell and Davies were also found guilty of converting their ill-gotten gains into cash. All four men were convicted of ignoring the law stating such finds must be properly declared, in a bid to sell the items in small batches.

Powell, from Newport; Davies, from Pontypridd; Wells, from Cardiff; and Wicks, from Hailsham, East Sussex, were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing.

UK Metal Detecting Code of Conduct:

  1. Do not trespass. Obtain permission before venturing on to any land.
  2. Respect the Country Code, leave gates and property as you find them and do not damage crops, frighten animals or disturb nesting birds.
  3. Wherever the site, do not leave a mess or an unsafe surface for those who may follow. It is perfectly simple to extract a coin or other small object buried a few inches below the ground without digging a great hole. Use a suitable digging implement to cut a neat flap (do not remove the plug of earth entirely from the ground), extract the object, reinstate the grass, sand or soil carefully, and even you will have difficulty in locating the find spot again.
  4. If you discover any live ammunition or any lethal object such as an unexploded bomb or mine, do not disturb it. Mark the site carefully and report the find to the local police and landowner.
  5. Help keep Britain tidy. Safely dispose of refuse you come across.
  6. Report all unusual historical finds to the landowner, and acquaint yourself with current NCMD policy relating to the Voluntary Reporting of Portable Antiquities in England and Wales and the mandatory reporting requirements in Scotland.
  7. Remember it is illegal for anyone to use a metal detector on a designated area (e.g. Scheduled Monuments (SM), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), or Ministry of Defence property) without permission from the appropriate authority. It is also a condition of most agri-environment agreements that metal detecting access is subject to certain rules and regulations including mandatory finds reporting of all finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
  8. Acquaint yourself with the terms and definitions used in the following documents:
    ‘Treasure’ contained in the Treasure Act 1996 and its associated Code of Practice, making sure you understand your responsibilities.
    Advice for Finders of Archaeological Objects including Treasure 2006.
    The voluntary Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting 2017 Revision. Note: the NCMD is not an endorsee to this version of the Code. Details of why the NCMD did not endorse the Code can be found in issue 25 of Digging Deep.
  9. Advice for finders in Scotland: Learn more here »
  10. Remember that when you are out with your metal detector you are an ambassador for our hobby. Do nothing that might give it a bad name.
  11. Never miss an opportunity to explain your hobby to anyone who asks about it.
    (Appendix A to the NCMD Constitution
. Revised February 2000
. Amended AGM June 2012.)


Don’t forget to drop by our forum!

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter


Please follow and like us:

Let us know what you think?