A delivery driver admitted taking a Roman gold coin from Castle Acre.
Roy Wood, 52, of Lytton Road, Grays, was fined £400 and ordered to pay £250 for using sophisticated metal detecting equipment to locate and unlawfully remove the coin during a hearing in Basildon Crown Court.
The coin originated from the period of Emperor Valentinian and valued at £200.
Police were contacted by the British Museum to report that Wood was suspected of being in possession of items that should be passed to the coroner as required within the Treasure Act 1996. In May 2013, officers working with experts from English Heritage raided Wood’s home and found documentation implicating him in the theft and subsequent sale of two gold coins. During sentencing Judge Owen-Jones stated that the discovery of the coin was of “archaeological and historical importance” and that would be taken into consideration along with Wood’s previous good character.
Mark Harrison, English Heritage’s national policing and crime advisor, said: “The presence of a coin like this one indicates that the site was perhaps a Roman villa or temple, or provides evidence that the settlement was wealthy. That knowledge, in this case, has been lost.”