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Vase sale 'cash plot'.

A BRIC-A BRAC dealer who made nearly pounds 125,000 selling a vase was blackmailed with child abuse claims, a court heard.

Mark Tarbitt bought the 18th-century Chinese vase for pounds 450 but sold it for pounds 125,000 after commission at Christie's.

Michael Murphy, 26 - who used to help on Mr Tarbitt's stall - is accused with David McCafferty, 35, of demanding more than pounds 21,000.

It is alleged they threatened to accuse him of abusing Murphy as a boy.

The pair, from South and North Shields, denied five blackmail charges at Newcastle crown court. The case continues.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2003
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