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Johnny Marr reunited with guitar

Johnny Marr was delighted to be handed back his much loved £30,000 guitar after it was stolen by a Smiths fan ten years ago.
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Johnny Marr has been reunited with his stolen guitar after ten years.

The former Smiths star - who had been performing at the Scala club in Kings Cross, north London, in 2000 when his cherished 1964 red Gibson SG guitar was taken - had given up all hope of seeing it again but a tip off to police a decade later has finally seen the fan who stole the instrument punished, and the instrument returned to its rightful owner.

Smiths fan Stephen White, 38, admitted at Highbury magistrates court last week he stole the guitar after going back stage, spotting the instrument, and walking out through a fire escape with it.

Despite a reward offered at the time for the return of Marr's treasured item, White did not send it back and instead played the guitar for a number of years, even once taking it to a repair shop after damaging it.

White - who was sentenced to 200 hours community work - told the court he was "disgusted" with himself for stealing it all those years ago.

He said: "I'm disgusted with the whole thing. There's a victim here. I can't reconcile myself with the behaviour of that night."

His defence claimed he had been prescribed antidepressant Seroxat at the time of the theft, and was intoxicated.

The guitar, which would normally be worth around £6,000, has an estimated value of £30,000 due to its famous owner.

A spokesman for Marr said: "He is very happy to have his guitar returned. The guitar did have a high sentimental value to him. Initially he thought he had been targeted by a professional thief but when the details came to light he said he didn't want the matter to go further."

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 10:15 to category : Music News

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