Two men caught in possession of several vintage guitars stolen from indie band Noah and the Whale have both been sentenced, the Manchester Evening News has reported.
Joseph Breeze, 41 (pictured, right) and his nephew Harold Breeze, 32 (pictured, left) were involved in storing and transporting over £100,000 of equipment snatched – along with the band’s trailer – from the popular group after a gig at Manchester Academy in 2009.
Although neither man was involved in the actual theft itself, they were spotted transferring the gear from one van to another two days after the crime. One of the band’s amps was found in Joseph Breeze’s flat in Salford and the rest of the equipment was traced by police to a barn in Lincolnshire, before being returned to the band.
Joseph was jailed for four years after admitting to handling stolen goods and Harold received a 12-month sentence, suspended for a year and he must also do 180 hours of unpaid work.
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Noah and the Whale's front man Charlie Fink was quick to stress the importance of these instruments – particularly his 1963 Fender Jaguar – which he described as being like a part of his personality.
“These instruments are not just stuff we can go out and buy again. So much of what is unique about our sound is because of them. They define us as a band,” said Noah and the Whale’s front man Charlie Fink after the original theft in September 2009.