Saturday 19 October 2019

Alarm expert 'Basil' jailed for role in Hatton Garden heist

Michael Seed: Betrayed no emotion as he was jailed for 10 years. Photo: PA
Michael Seed: Betrayed no emotion as he was jailed for 10 years. Photo: PA

Henry Vaughan

The Hatton Garden ringleader known as 'Basil' has been jailed for 10 years - four years after carrying out the £14m (€16.5m) heist.

Alarm specialist Michael Seed (58) is believed to have let himself in to the building in London's diamond district using a set of keys before defeating the security system.

He was one of two men who climbed into the vault to loot 73 safe deposit boxes after the gang of ageing criminals drilled through the thick concrete wall over the 2015 Easter bank holiday weekend.

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Seed - who pays no taxes, claims no benefits and rarely uses a bank account - evaded capture for three years before police raided his flat, in Islington, north London, around 3km away from Hatton Garden, on March 27 last year.

After being convicted and sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday, Judge Christopher Kinch QC told him: "Your role was a central one. You were at the heart of the core activities that had to be carried out.

"You were not just there to fetch and carry. In my judgment this must rank among the worst offences of its type."

Seed appeared expressionless as he was jailed.

The electronics expert confidently told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court he was not the man nicknamed 'Basil' by the rest of the gang.

But he became the 10th person convicted in connection with the crime when found guilty of conspiracy to burgle the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company and conspiracy to handle the proceeds after £143,000 worth of gold ingots, gems and jewellery was found in his bedroom.

Of the £13.6m of property stolen in the heist, only around £4.5m - roughly one-third - has since been recovered by police, the court heard.

Irish Independent

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