Dartford’s Brian Reader claims he gained nothing from £25m Hatton Garden raid
PUBLISHED: 14:52 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:52 08 September 2017
2015 Metropolitan Police
The 78-year-old was rolled into the dock in Woolwich Crown Court in a wheelchair, having suffered from a stroke as well as battling prostate cancer
The “guv’nor” of the Hatton Garden gang has appeared in court to argue that he gained nothing from the raid.
Brian Reader, 78, of Dartford Road, Dartford, was rolled into the dock in Woolwich Crown Court in a wheelchair, having suffered from a stroke as well as battling prostate cancer.
Frail-looking Reader, who struggled to hear proceedings at the timetable hearing, is also suffering from loss of sight.
Reader, who was jailed for six years and three months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary, has been in the healthcare wing at HMP Belmarsh for the last year.
He was unable to attend the trial due to ill health.
Reader claims that after he pulled out from the raid after the gang failed to gain entry to the vault on the first night, he received nothing of the gains from the burglary.
The estimated value of the goods stolen over the 2015 Easter weekend raid is up to £25 million.
Ringleaders John “Kenny” Collins, 77, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington, north London; Daniel Jones, 63, of Park Avenue, Enfield, north London; Terry Perkins, 69, of Heene Road, Enfield; and the group’s oldest member, Reader, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
Collins, Jones and Perkins were each given a seven-year prison term for their involvement in the burglary.
William Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green, east London, was found guilty of the same offence and one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.
He was also given a seven-year sentence.
A confiscation hearing, expected to last six weeks, will take place on January 15, 2018.
James Scobie, representing Reader, asked for the court to deal with his client sooner, submitting that he had not received any of the loot.
Referring to the audio recordings played in evidence, Mr Scobie said it suggests “he isn’t going to get a penny on the one hand, or he is going to get a parcel, and evidentially there is no other evidence whatsoever that he got anything”.
Judge Christopher Kinch QC said: “The question of the extent to which, if at all, Mr Reader was to share in the proceeds is something known to those who were involved in the events, and not to anyone else.
“As the tribunal of fact, I am only going to be able to draw inferences from the valuable evidence.”
He added that Reader’s confiscation hearing would have to take place with his co-defendants in January.
The court heard that while the prosecution and defence work to value the items taken in the raid, those who own them are suffering.
Prosecutor Philip Evans QC, said: “The real hardship...is being caused to those whose stock is essentially being held by the Crown, and which is affecting their businesses, in some cases dramatically.”
Also convicted was Carl Wood, 59, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, who was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle and one count of and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.
He was jailed for six years and his confiscation hearing will take place on November 10.
Plumber Hugh Doyle, 49, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, north London, was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property between January 1 and May 19, 2015.
He was jailed for 21 months, suspended for two years. His confiscation hearing will take place on December 20.
The Hatton Garden gang ransacked 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall.
They stole valuables including gold, diamonds and sapphires, with the majority remaining unrecovered.
Another thief, known only as Basil, remains at large. He was instrumental in helping the gang get into the vault in the heart of London’s diamond district.
A further directions hearing for the remaining men will be held on November 6.