LONDON – Two men were sentenced Thursday for stealing photos of Britain's Prince William relaxing with his girlfriend, Kate Middleton, on a Caribbean vacation last year.
Charlie Ewins, 26, and Leon Sesay, 25, were sentenced to 100 hours of community service for taking a memory stick belonging to Middleton's sister, Pippa, and trying to sell it to The Sun tabloid newspaper for $82,500.
Pippa lost the memory stick when her bag was stolen from an unlocked car in August of last year. Ewins and Sesay claimed they later fished the device out of a gutter before attempting to trade the photos in for cash.
The childhood friends were behaving like the two buffoons from "Dumb and Dumber," the 1994 comedy starring Jim Carrey, Ewins' lawyer, Susan Meek, told London's Kingston Crown Court.
Judge Martyn Barklem described the two as "essentially fools for whom things have spiraled out of control."
"I suppose years ago you might have been sent to the Tower of London, but of course cameras and memory cards did not exist in those days," Barklem said.
William and Middleton, both 27, have been dating on-and-off since they were students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and intimate pictures of the pair are highly prized.
The Sun said it had seen the 40-odd photographs on the memory stick before calling police. The tabloid described them as shots of the couple vacationing on the island of Mustique.
One picture reportedly featured a bikini-clad Middleton doing yoga. Another showed William wearing a woman's hat, The Sun reported. The photographs have never been published.