Thieves offered to sell £1.2 million Stradivarius violin for £100, court told

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Irish traveller John Maughan snatched the 313-year-old instrument from South Korean-born violinist Min-Jin Kym as she stopped to buy a sandwich at London’s Euston railway station.

Despite researching the violin online, Maughan, 40, and his two teenage accomplices were so ignorant of its value that they offered it to a stranger in an internet café for just £100.

But the man turned down the offer claiming that his daughter already owned a recorder, Blackfriars Crown Court was told.

Maughan and the two accomplices, aged 14 and 16, were arrested four weeks later following an appeal on Crimewatch and yesterday admitted a single charge of theft.

However, the violin – one of only 450 in the world – has never been found and insurers are offering a £15,000 reward for its return....

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