Friday 24 February 2017

Hatton Garden raid 'largest burglary in history'

Nina Massey London

Raiders used a drill to bore a hole 51cm deep, 25cm high and 46cm into the wall of a vault in London's jewellery quarter, before ransacking 73 safety deposit boxes. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Raiders used a drill to bore a hole 51cm deep, 25cm high and 46cm into the wall of a vault in London's jewellery quarter, before ransacking 73 safety deposit boxes. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The Hatton Garden raid which saw the theft of jewellery and valuables worth an estimated £14m was the "largest burglary in English legal history", a court has heard.

A gang of thieves carried out the "sophisticated" and meticulously planned break-in over the Easter weekend, this year.

They used a drill to bore a hole 51cm deep, 25cm high and 46cm into the wall of a vault in London's jewellery quarter, before ransacking 73 safety deposit boxes.

"Ringleaders" John "Kenny" Collins (75) Daniel Jones (58) Terry Perkins (67) and Brian Reader (76) have all already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit.

Four other men are on trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London, accused of being involved in the raid.

They are: Carl Wood (58)of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire; William Lincoln, (60) of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green, east London; and Jon Harbinson (42) of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex.

Referring to the four men who have pleaded guilty to their involvement, Prosecutor Philip Evans said: "These four ringleaders and organisers of this conspiracy, although senior in years, brought with them a great deal of experience in planning and executing sophisticated and serious acquisitive crime not dissimilar to this. This offence was to be the largest burglary in English legal history.

"Two of these men had also been involved in some of the biggest acquisitive crime of the last century, and the other two had for many years in their earlier lives been involved in serious theft."

As well as being shown photos of the "ringleaders", jurors also saw pictures of some of the watches and jewellery discovered at their homes after the raid. A book called 'Forensics For Dummies' was found at Jones's house, the court heard.

Irish Independent

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