Monday, May 19, 2008

Fallon Slapped on Wrist for Archives Theft

Oliver Fallon, who pleaded guilty last month to thefts from the Scottish Catholic Archive in Edinburgh, has been sentenced to 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay a fine of £16,000. The fine was apparently calculated by (almost) combining the estimated repair costs of £5,000 to the value of the stolen documents which have not been returned, some £12,000.

The Edinburgh News reports that Fallon "has been released from jail in England for similar crimes." The Glasgow Daily Record adds that when he heard the sentence, Fallon "smiled and looked relieved." And who wouldn't?

Meanwhile, in the wake of Fallon's thefts, the Scottish Catholic Archive has made a preliminary agreement to loan the oldest materials in their collection to Aberdeen University for safekeeping and transfer the remainder of the archive to Glasgow, a plan which has drawn opposition from some quarters but which seems eminently reasonable to me considering that the documents are clearly not secure where they are.