Rick Harrison, who owned music shops across Britain and claimed the clientage of Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, Bon Jovi, Chris Rea, The Cranberries and Blur among others had been selling guitars since 1974 and gained the reputation for procuring rare guitars, had been sentenced along with his son for their involvement in a £1million plot to sell rare guitars stolen from Italy.
Rick and Justin Harrison the father son duo were caught following an international police inquiry when 157 rare guitars were stolen from an Italian collector in 2006.
Thirty of the guitars worth 170000 pounds were traced back to Music Ground Yorkshire based business owned by the Harrison’s.
The Harrisons owned a range of cars between the two along with Rolex watches, designer clothes and Harvey Nichols card.
The ex draughtsman lived in a 14th century renovated rectory bought for £1million in 2010 he also owned a villa in Spain.
The theft had taken place in October 2006 at Pierpaolo Adda’s Guitar Ranch museum in Verona and some most wanted guitars were stolen which included Telecasters, Stratocaster’s, Gibsons and Rickenbackers.
Mr Adda had emailed the list of stolen guitars to traders and collectors across the world and nine months later Mr Adda found an offering of the stolen guitar from Music Ground via email and on searching the website of Music Ground found other guitars matching his stolen guitars.
On contacting the Britain police and seizing some guitars a survey of antique guitar dealers was launched which brought into light Music Grounds involvement in the issue.
Rick Harrison admitted a charge of handling stolen goods relating to ten guitars worth £42,000.
The Leeds Crown Courts gave him a 12 month sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered 200 hours of unpaid work on Fridays.
Justin Harrison who admitted two charges of handling stolen goods, relating to two guitars worth £4,500 was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £2,500 in court costs.
It is believed the burglaries were the work of Serbian gangsters.