Sebastiano Magnanini: Three men jailed for shopping trolley burial in Regent’s Canal
PUBLISHED: 17:53 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 18:31 08 March 2016
Three men have today been jailed for preventing lawful burial of a man - by pushing a trolley containing his body into Regent’s Canal near Islington Tunnel.
The body of 46-year-old Sebastiano Magnanini, originally from Italy, was found in the canal on September 24 last year.
The three men were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court today, having admitted offences at the same court in January.
Michael Walsh, 41, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to preventing the lawful burial of a body (sentenced to 32 months) and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation (16 months).
Paul Williams, 61, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to preventing the lawful burial of a body.
Daniel Hastie, 22, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Hastie was also sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for possession of an offensive weapon for an unrelated matter.
Walsh and Williams were arrested in connection with Mr Magnanini’s death after CCTV footage showed them pushing a trolley, with his body in it, to the canal and weighing it down with weights.
Hastie was arrested after CCTV footage was identified showing him withdrawing money using the defendant’s bank card.
Enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances of Mr Magnanini’s death. An inquest is scheduled to open at Camden Coroner’s Court on Monday.
Det Chief Insp Rebecca Reeves, of the homicide and major crime command, said: “I am pleased that Walsh, Williams and Hastie have been convicted for their actions relating to Sebastiano’s death. Williams and Walsh concealed his body and made a concerted effort to make sure that it wouldn’t be traced.
“This has been devastating for Sebastiano’s family. Walsh and Williams showed a callous disregard for the consequences of their actions and Walsh stole from a man who was either dead or dying. If they had been successful in concealing Sebastiano’s body, his family would have had to endure even longer than they did without knowing where he was or what had happened to him.”
Originally from Italy, Mr Magnanini was jailed for 18 months in 1998 over the 1993 theft of a painting, The Education of the Virgin, by 18th-century artist Giovanni Tiepolo from a church in Venice. The painting was reportedly worth two billion lire.
He had been living and working in south London at the time of his death.