Telegraph a man who embodied crime as a philosophy and way of life:
Peter Scott, who has died aged 82, was a highly accomplished cat burglar, and took particular pains to select his victims from the ranks of aristocrats, film stars and even royalty.
By his own reckoning, Scott stole jewels, furs and artworks worth more than £30 million. He held none of his victims in great esteem (“upper-class prats chattering in monosyllables”). According to a list of 100 names he supplied, he targeted figures such as Soraya Khashoggi, Shirley MacLaine, the Shah of Iran, Judy Garland and even Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He asserted that he had been “sent by God to take back some of the wealth that the outrageously rich had taken from the rest of us”.
By the mid-1990s, Scott had served 12 years in prison in the course of half a dozen separate stretches, and claimed to have retired from a life of crime. But in 1998 he was jailed for another three and a half years for handling, following the theft of Picasso’s Tête de Femme from the Lefevre Gallery in Mayfair the year before.
Scott was a past-master in self-justification of his crimes: “The people I burgled got rich by greed and skulduggery. They indulged in the mechanics of ostentation — they deserved me and I deserved them. If I rob Ivana Trump, it is just a meeting of two different kinds of degeneracy on a dark rooftop.”
In his memoirs, Scott admitted to an even stronger motivation: “Even now, after 30 years, it was a sexual thrill.” There was the additional satisfaction in his assumption that the millions reading about his exploits in the papers were silently cheering him on.
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