A man has been charged with looting the personal items of John F Kennedy JR, including a Father's Day card from 1963.

Warehouse worker Patrick Gallagher, 50, of New York, pleaded innocent on Tuesday (13APR04) to grand larceny and possession of stolen property. He was released on $5,000 (GBP2,700) bail.

Authorities accused Gallagher of stealing nearly three dozen items that had been stored in a SOTHEBY'S warehouse in upper Manhattan since Kennedy's death in 1999. The defendant sold the belongings for $5,000 to pay a debt to a bookmaker, prosecutors said.

Among the stolen items were rare copies of former American President JOHN F KENNEDY's inaugural address, a 1963 Father's Day card to the late politician from his son and a copy of the book JOHN BROWN'S BODY. The book includes an inscription from JACQUELINE KENNEDY, dated Christmas 1964, telling her son that it was his father's favourite book.

19/04/2004 02:06