A PENSIONER whose £50,000 coin collection was stolen during a raid on his house has named an associate of paedophile businessman John McCallum as the culprit.
David Pearson left his home in Comiston Springs Avenue for half an hour but returned to find the collection he had built up over 40 years gone.
The 70-year-old told police the only person who knew where he kept the coins was a man who had visited his home two weeks before.
Mr Pearson said the man – whom the Evening News is not naming – was questioned by officers and admitted that the pensioner showed him the coins but denied the theft.
Mr Pearson said the owner of an Edinburgh coin shop also told him the man had attempted to sell him the collection but was rebuffed.
Despite extensive inquiries police did not have evidence to charge the man, who has close links with John McCallum.
McCallum, 53, was jailed for ten years in September after being convicted of raping and sexually abusing his twin nieces when they were children.
Mr Pearson said that the theft in June 2011 left him “completely devastated”. He said: “This man was in my house and saw coin catalogues in my living room. I made the mistake of my life and took out a green bag where I kept the coins and told him their value. One was worth £5000.”
On June 13, Mr Pearson returned to find his front door had been smashed, the collection stolen, but nothing else was touched.
He said: “This man was the only person I told where I kept my coins. The police brought him in for interview. An officer later told me that this man admitted I’d shown him my collection and he said he never told anyone else about it.
“I’d called the owner of a coin shop to warn him that someone may try and sell my coins. He told me that a man had come in and tried to sell them so he turned him away without even looking at them. He identified this person as well.
“But the police did not have enough evidence to charge him.”
The collection includes a Harold Penny – in memory of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, worth about £5000. Four Mary, Queen of Scots coins, worth £12,000, were also taken.
On February 14 last year, Mr Pearson said he confronted the man in the street.
Mr Pearson, a former professional gambler, added: “I accused him of stealing the coins and told him what impact it had on me. He denied it then head-butted me and screwed up my glasses in his hand. I reported it to police and they questioned him. Again, they said there wasn’t enough evidence.
“I’ve been devastated by this theft and don’t believe I’ll ever get the coins back.”
McCallum was locked up for attacking the sisters in his caravan at a Duddingston travellers’ site and in Loanhead, where the businessman also lived, between 1978 and 1987.