Three guilty in connection with Regent’s Canal death

The body was identified as 46-year-old Sebastiano Magnanini, originally from Italy, who had been liv

The body was identified as 46-year-old Sebastiano Magnanini, originally from Italy, who had been living and working in south London. - Credit: Archant

Three men have pleaded guilty to offences in connection with the death of Sebastiano Magnanini, whose body was recovered form the Regent’s Canal last September.

Paul Williams, 61, of no fixed abode, and Michael Walsh, 41, of Wharfdale Road, pleaded guilty to preventing lawful burial.

Mr Walsh and Daniel Hastie, 22, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

All three admitted the offences on January 5 at Blackfriars Crown Court. They are set to be sentenced at the same court on February 5.

Mr Magnanini, 46, was discovered tied to a shopping trolley close to the entrance of Islington Tunnel by a member of the public at 9:07am on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

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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.

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He was last seen alive on Tuesday September 22, as he travelled into central London on public transport. It is thought he visited the Euston area at around 16.50 before travelling to Kings Cross and Caledonian Road around 18.50.

Mr Magnanini was described as being 6ft 1in tall with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing black jeans, a blue hooded top with a zip down the front and a dark-coloured t-shirt. He was wearing the same outfit when he was discovered in the canal.

A post-mortem examination took place at the Whittington Hospital on September 25, and the cause of death is still unknown at this stage. Further toxicology tests are currently taking place.

No other arrests have been made in connection with his death and enquiries are still underway.

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