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Potter book - four charged

PUBLISHED: 07:55 09 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

A PRINT worker has been charged with stealing chapters of the new Harry Potter book, pages of which were found dumped in a Suffolk field.

Three teenagers are also accused of handling stolen property after attempts were made to sell chapters of J K Rowling's latest blockbuster.

A PRINT worker has been charged with stealing chapters of the new Harry Potter book, pages of which were found dumped in a Suffolk field.

Three teenagers are also accused of handling stolen property after attempts were made to sell chapters of J K Rowling's latest blockbuster.

Police said Donald James Parfitt, 44, of Worlingham, near Beccles, an employee of Bungay-based firm Clays, where the book is being printed, had been charged with stealing copies of chapters of the book.

It follows the discovery of pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is not out until June 21, on Bungay Common on Monday.

Detectives also charged three teenagers with handling stolen goods "following attempts to sell the chapters", said a Suffolk police spokeswoman.

Garry Cox, 18, from Harleston, Norfolk, and two 16-year-olds from Beccles, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were given bail and will appear before magistrates in Lowestoft next Wednesday.

Parfitt, who had been questioned at Lowestoft Police Station with the others, was also bailed to appear at the magistrates' court on that date.

The police spokeswoman added the stolen chapters had been recovered.

Detectives were asked to investigate the incident after the finder of the books handed them over to a national newspaper.

The finder, Keith Webb, 40, a father-of-two from Lowestoft, had wanted to keep his identity secret but decided to identify himself when rumours started to circulate that he could be involved with the theft.

"I didn't want to be named or photographed as I didn't fancy my face in the papers. But now I want to set the record straight," said Mr Webb.

Mr Webb made the discovery while walking on Bungay Common.

Meanwhile, lawyers acting for the book's publishers, Bloomsbury, have obtained a High Court order preventing any newspaper from revealing any details about the new book, offered to them by a mystery man.

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