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Men deny involvement in Bulmers cider family multimillion-pound artwork burglary

The 11 defendants will face trial on June 4 at Bristol Crown Court in connection with the Bulmers burglary.

Eleven men have denied offences linked to a burglary in which millions of pounds worth of artwork and antique jewellery were stolen.

The raid was at the palatial home of Esmond and Susie Bulmer, members of the Bulmers cider family, in Bruton, Somerset in 2009.

During the incident £1.7 million worth of paintings and £1 million of antique jewellery were taken.

A total of 15 paintings were stolen, including the famous Endymion by 19th century English painter George Frederic Watts and Apple Blossom by early 20th century English artist Sir George Clausen.

All the paintings have been recovered, except for Sir John Lavery’s After Glow Taplow.

On Wednesday, 11 men appeared at Bristol Crown Court to deny a string of offences, including conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

Those charged are:

– Liam Judge, 41, of Crypt Court, Tuffley, Gloucester, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

– Matthew Evans, 41, of Coral Close, Tuffley, Gloucester, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

– Skinder Ali, 38, whose address was listed on court papers as HMP Full Sutton in Yorkshire, and who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to receive stolen goods. He appeared in court via videolink from prison.

– Jonathan Rees, 63, of Village Close, Weybridge, Surrey, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud and committing a series of acts intending to pervert the course of justice.

– Donald Maliska, 63, of Old Brompton Road, London, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud. Maliska was excused attending court and pleas were entered on his behalf by his barrister.

– Mark Regan, 45, whose address was listed on court papers as HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, and who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods. He appeared in court via videolink from prison.

– David Price, 53, of Virginia Court, Camden, London, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud.

– Ike Obiamiwe, 55, of The Drive, Sutton, Surrey, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods and conspiracy to defraud.

– Thomas Lynch, 43, of St Benedict’s Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

– Nigel Blackburn, 60, of Broad Street, Birmingham, who pleaded not guilty to controlling criminal property.

– Azhar Mir, 65, of Bufferys Close, Hillfield, Solihull, West Midlands, who pleaded not guilty to controlling criminal property.

The 11 defendants will face trial on June 4 at Bristol Crown Court for a case that could last up to two months.

Judge Julian Lambert released Ali and Regan on technical unconditional bail while their co-accused were all released on unconditional bail.

Mr Bulmer was Conservative MP for Kidderminster from 1974 to 1983. He was MP for Wyre Forest from 1983 until the general election of 1987 when he stepped down.

The art collector and his family made £84 million when they sold their stake in the family’s Hereford-based cider-making business.

Bulmers was founded in 1887 by Percy Bulmer, the 20-year-old son of a local Hereford clergyman.

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