Security man admits bid to sell stolen Potter book

A SECURITY guard who tried to sell stolen copies of the latest Harry Potter novel appeared in court yesterday, where he admitted theft and possessing an imitation firearm.

Aaron Lambert, 20, stole two copies of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince from the distribution centre where he worked in Corby, Northamptonshire, on 2 June this year, six weeks before JK Rowling's latest instalment in the Potter saga was due to be released.

He was arrested the next day after two deals with national newspaper reporters went wrong and armed police swooped on his flat.

Lambert appeared at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, where he also admitted possessing an imitation Walther PPK pistol with intent to cause fear of violence.

Matthew Brookes-Baker, prosecuting, told the court that Lambert brandished the gun in front of reporter John Askill during negotiations to sell the books. Mr Askill, the court heard, told police that the defendant pointed the gun at him and later fired the weapon as he fled from Lambert's flat in Kettering.

Lambert, who denies pointing the weapon at Mr Askill, will face a trial of issue before a judge into whether or not he pointed the gun at the reporter during the stand-off.

Lambert was remanded into custody by Recorder Richard Benson, QC, until that hearing at a date yet to be fixed.

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