A man tried to sell baby scan pictures belonging to TV star Danniella Westbrook, a court heard.

Mark Coates found the pictures among personal documents dumped by the roadside.

They had been taken by burglars who struck at the former EastEnders’ star’s Essex home three times in as many weeks.

Coates, 39, found them in a field when he was returning home.

But instead of handing them to police, he called a national newspaper in a bid to sell them.

Ms Westbook, 40, was living in Takeley with her two children at the time.

Simon Bravery, prosecuting at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, said: “Ms Westbrook was renting a cottage and was sadly subjected to three burglaries.

A variety of items were taken, including documents and photos of a personal nature.

Mr Coates contacted a journalist asking if these items would be of interest to the press, indicating he was prepared to sell them.

“The journalist made enquiries with various newspapers and it seemed likely they were stolen and the direct course of action would be to give them to the police. Coates should have handed them into police immediately, but he did intend to profit.”

Coates, 39, of Bran End, Stebbing, yesterday admitted theft by finding.

David Howell, mitigating, said Coates had second thoughts and contacted police.

He took them to the spot where he found the pictures and they recovered other items.

He stressed Coates was not in involved in the burglaries. Audrey Harrington, chairman of the bench, fined him £265, with £112 costs.