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Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Man who stole RPS president's chain sentenced to 30 months in prison

Allan Tierney has been found guilty of the burglary at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s headquarters in November 2018, and sentenced to 30 months in immediate custody.

Stolen RPS presidents' chain

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The chain, which is engraved with the names of all past RPS presidents from 1841 to 1968, was stolen from a cabinet at the museum in RPS’s London headquarters on 11 November 2018

The man who stole the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president’s chain in November 2018 from its London headquarters has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Allan Tierney, aged 60 years, of Walworth, south London, was found guilty of the burglary at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 7 June 2019 and sentenced to 30 months immediate custody.

The chain, which is engraved with the names of all past RPS presidents from 1841—1968, was stolen from a cabinet at the museum in RPS’s London headquarters on 11 November 2018.

The emergency services were alerted to the theft after the intruder alarm was sounded at 7:00 on 11 November 2018

The RPS’s security system enabled the Metropolitan Police Service’s Art and Antiques Unit, which investigated the case, to obtain footage of the incident.

Sophie Hayes, detective constable for the Metropolitan Police, said: “Tierney was a determined burglar who specifically targeted a museum exhibit of great importance to the RPS.

“Although the chain has a significant financial value, its historical value to the Society is also immeasurable.”

Security at the RPS’s London headquarters has since been increased to ensure a similar incident does not happen again, including the installation of bombproof glass to doors and external windows, as well a sliding door over the front access to ensure additional security when the building is closed.

The chain itself has not been found; however, there are plans for the insurance payout to be reinvested in the museum.

Following the theft in November 2018, Ash Soni, president of the RPS, said that although the chain was insured, “things like that are irreplaceable”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206650

Readers' comments (3)

  • Michael Achiampong

    This is some sort of poetic justice. However, it would be interesting to find out what exactly the convicted burgular has done with the irreplaceable RPS President's chain!

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  • Bob Dunkley

    Probably would have melted it down - a grave loss!!

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  • Sad to lose more of our heritage. I wonder what happened to all the Branches and chairman’s chains and paraphenalia. They too had great sentimental value and significant melt down value too.

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