Friday 6 December 2019

Jewels heist burglars are convicted of €18.6m raid

CCTV footage shown during the trial
CCTV footage shown during the trial

Nina Massey in London

Three men have been found guilty of being involved in the £14m (€18.6m) Hatton Garden raid, believed to be the biggest burglary in British history.

The thieves carried out the "sophisticated" break-in over the Easter weekend last year.

They ransacked 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall.

Valuables worth up to £14m, including gold, diamonds and sapphires, were taken. Two thirds remain unrecovered.

Carl Wood (58), of Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and William Lincoln (60), of Bethnal Green, east London, were convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

Jon Harbinson (42), of Benfleet, Essex, was cleared of the two offences. He was accused of transporting goods stolen in the raid.

Harbinson was asked to look after three bags at his home by Lincoln, his uncle, having been told they did not contain anything important.

Plumber Hugh Doyle (48), of Enfield, north London, was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property.

Speaking after his conviction, Doyle said it was difficult to say much ahead of his sentencing, but he added: "We are considering our position and it is very likely that we will appeal the conviction."

He was readmitted on bail, despite his conviction for being involved in an "extremely significant matter".

Another thief, known only as "Basil", let his co-conspirators into the building by opening the fire escape from the inside. He has never been identified.

Ringleaders John 'Kenny' Collins (75), Daniel Jones (60), Terry Perkins (67) and Brian Reader (76) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary last September.

It can now also be reported that Perkins's daughter, Terri Robinson (35), of Enfield, faces being jailed alongside him after she pleaded guilty to concealing, converting or transferring criminal property.

Her brother-in-law, Brenn Walters (43), who is also known as Ben Perkins, admitted the same offence.

After facing criticism for the way the incident was handled, the Metropolitan Police apologised for not following procedures when receiving a call about an intruder alert at the premises.

The gang who broke into the vault included participants in some of the most notorious heists of the last century - Reader was involved in the £26m (€34.5m) gold bullion Brinks Mat robbery, and Perkins was a player in the £6m (€8m) Security Express raid.

Robinson and Walters are due to be sentenced on March 31.

Irish Independent

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