Antiques dealer Raymond Scott has today been cleared at Newcastle Crown Court of stealing a rare copy of Shakespeare's First Folio but was found guilty of handling stolen goods and removing stolen property from the UK.

Scott, 53, of Wingate, County Durham, denied the charges.

The court has heard how he paraded as a Ferrari-driving, champagne-swigging, international playboy with a young woman on his arm - but in reality lived in a former council house with his elderly mother and survived on a carer's allowance.

The Folio, dating from 1623, was missing for nearly ten years after it disappeared from Durham University library.

Mr Scott produced it at the Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington DC, US, in June 2008, claiming he acquired it in Cuba, home of his fiancee - nightclub dancer Heidi Garcia Rios.

Full story, reaction and background in tomorrow's paper