TWO men who claimed they did not burgle Durham City’s Oriental Museum have been branded liars by a judge.
Lee Wildman, 36, and Adrian Stanton, 33, both from Walsall, both previously admitted conspiracy to burgle, but said they were not the men who cut a hole in the wall of the museum in Elvet Hill and took two Chinese ornaments valued at £2million.
They claimed they had only helped the actual burglars by providing cars and other ‘logistical support’.
In a hearing at Durhan Crown Court to determine their precise involvement, both men said they had made several journeys to and from Durham to deliver cars for some northern men who they could not name.
Wildman said he had no idea the burglary had taken place, despite being seen more than once on waste ground near the tiny settlement of Browney where the ornaments were hidden.
Giving judgment, Judge Christopher Prince said: “I find these were the two men who were at the museum that night and who cut the hole in the wall.
“They may or may not have had assistance, it matters not.
“I have been struck over two days of this hearing over the amount of disingenuous lies told by the two defendants.
“I have not heard so many lies from the witness box for a very long time.”
Judge Prince is due to sentence the two men and four other defendants involved in the burglary tomorrow.