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THE ANTIOUES ROGUE SHOW; 'Lovejoy' is on sick pay.


ANDY JAMES takes a breather from selling antiques from his busy market stall.

James, 43, looks the picture of health as he flogs Charles Rennie Mackintosh-style gear at the famous Barras in Glasgow.

But today we can reveal James has been signed off sick from his pounds 30,000-a-year job as an area controller with British Transport Police for the last 18 months.

His leave of absence has cost rate- payers around pounds 22,000 in benefits.

The antiques antics of the would-be Lovejoy are sure to shock his transport police bosses.

As far as they are aware, James, who is one of the force's most senior civilian workers, is suffering from long-term stress.

But we can report that the barrow-boy is all smiles when he turns up most weekends to pursue his lucrative sideline at the busy stall.

Sunday Mail investigators found him selling vases, picture frames and bric-a-brac based on the style of Rennie Mackintosh.

Our photographer caught him against a backdrop of American flags and cowboy boots on a neighbouring stall, taking a well-earned breather after a busy spell serving customers.

All morning, James's stall was bustling with people browsing then snapping up the art nouveau ornaments.

James, who is based at British Transport Police headquarters in Glasgow, is normally responsible for handling emergency calls and directing police radio calls and foot patrol officers.

One police insider said: "Senior officers have suspected for some time that Andy James had a lucrative sideline. They've just never been able to catch him red-handed.

"A number of people around here are sickened by the situation. After this, James will be dealt with severely. Frankly, he deserves it."

James has notched up 10 years' experience with the force, moving to the Glasgow HQ several years ago.

He lives in a neat home in Glasgow's Kings Park with British Transport police officer Caroline MacKillop.

Callers to his work are told: "He's still off sick."

But when Sunday Mail investigators called at his home, Officer MacKillop said: "He's out and about."

When we asked about his stall, she said: "Oh yes. He'll be back later."

Last night, a senior officer said: "We will be investigating the situation thoroughly.

"We take matters like this extremely seriously."

Our dossier of evidence is available to British Transport Police.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 14, 2001
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