A stolen Sir Stanley Spencer painting valued at £1m has been found after police searched a drug dealer’s home in Kingston-Upon-Thames.

The artwork, titled Cookham from Englefield, had been missing for five years ever since it was stolen from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Berkshire. It was found after 28-year-old Harry Fisher was stopped by police in his Mercedes. Detectives found one kilogram of cocaine and £30,000 in the vehicle.

Fisher’s flat was later raided and the artwork discovered, along with 15,000 ecstasy tablets and a further three kilograms of cocaine.

He was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs, acquiring criminal property and handling stolen goods.

Harry Fisher

After the recovery of the painting, Detective Inspector Brian Hobbs said:

“I am pleased to say that the painting has now been returned to its owners. The seizure of the painting was the result of a proactive investigation by the Organised Crime Command, which resulted in a significant custodial sentence for the defendant found in possession of the painting.”

The owners of the painting were delighted upon its discovery as it was supposedly of sentimental value. The gallery was compensated for the theft of the painting by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who provide a cheaper alternative to insurance to museums and galleries.

Arts Minister Michael Ellis released this statement:

“Spencer is one of our most renowned painters and a true great of the 20th century. It is wonderful that this story has had a happy ending and the painting has been returned to its rightful owners. This has been made possible because of the Government Indemnity Scheme. It exists to protect owners when lending their works to public galleries. Without it, there would be fewer world-class pieces on display across the country for people to enjoy.”