A judge has expressed her surprise that a woman accused of trying to sell a famous musician’s £200,000 violin at a Cash Converters was simply sent a letter telling her to appear in court.
Dawn Henry, 37, of Marlborough Road, Islington was due to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court today, but failed to show up.
She is charged with handling stolen goods, namely an eighteenth century violin owned by Krysia Osostowicz, 56, in Streatham High Road, Streatham on July 28, last year.
“A two hundred thousand pound violin and it’s a postal requisition?” enquired District Judge Ann Sawetz before issuing a warrant for Henry’s arrest.
The instrument was snatched when the mother-of-two unlocked her bike outside Brixton Underground Station as she travelled to her Herne Hill home after a Radio 3 performance.
It is believed the violin was nearly pawned for £50, but Krysia, who was taught by legendary Yehudi Menuhin, had tipped-off the store her instrument may turn up.
Thirty-six hours after it was stolen it reappeared at the Cash Converters store, allegedly in the possession of Henry.
Krysia is a professor at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and her violin, manufactured in Venice in 1720, can be heard on over thirty of her albums and she’s toured the world with it for over twenty years.
After the theft Krysia said: “It means a huge amount, it is like losing a child. Any musical instrument is a very personal thing, it is like a voice and you get to know all its little quirks.
“It’s like a voice, I lost mu voice. It has my sound, it is not like a Stradivarius, but I do a lot of musical performances in string quartets and a lot of solo work with it.
“I was having to face a future where I didn’t have my violin and I was devastated.”