Hatton Garden raid ringleader ‘would not have turned gang in even if he got nothing’

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Hatton Garden burglar Brian Reader would not have turned his fellow gang members in to police even if they cut him out of the profits, a court has heard.

Prosecutors want the veteran criminal, 78, to pay back some of the £13.69 million of gold, gems and cash stolen in the raid.

But wheelchair-bound Reader claims he did not make a penny after walking away when the gang failed to gain entry to the vault on the first night of the 2015 Easter weekend heist.

His fellow gang members returned for a second attempt, ransacking 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in London’s jewellery quarter after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall.

Reader’s barrister James Scobie QC said: “We are now three years down the line from when this all began.

“In spite of those three years, the investigation, not least into proceeds of crime, there is nothing that can be laid at his door… that came from the conspiracy. That is not an accident.”

Judge Christopher Kinch QC suggested it was possible his fellow gang members may have wanted to give reader a cut so he didn’t go to police.

But Mr Scobie insisted: “One thing that Brian Reader would not do is… if he got nothing he would whine about it to the authorities and give up the men.”

The comments emerged at a proceeds of crime hearing at Woolwich Crown Court, where a judge will order the gang to pay back some of the befits of the crime or face longer jail sentences.

Reader did not attend court, which heard he is not well – he has previously suffered from a stroke as well as battling prostate cancer.

Reader, from Dartford, was jailed for six years and three months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

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; were each given a seven-year prison term after pleading guilty to the same offence.

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, and was also given a seven-year sentence.

Brian Reader did not appear in court due to ill health (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Brian Reader did not appear in court due to ill health (Metropolitan Police/PA)

In November, Carl Wood, 59, was ordered to pay back £50,500 within three months or face a default term of imprisonment of 18 months.

Wood of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle and one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

He was jailed for six years.

Also convicted was plumber Hugh Doyle, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, north London, who 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.

The case continues at 11am on Thursday.

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