Bethnal Green man, 60, guilty of £14m Hatton Garden raid
- Credit: PA WIRE
A man from Bethnal Green has been found guilty of being involved in the £14million Hatton Garden raid – believed the biggest burglary in British history.
The gang of thieves carried out the “sophisticated” and meticulously planned 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 including gold, diamonds and sapphires were taken.
Two thirds of them have not been recovered.
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William Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green, and Carl Wood, 58, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire were convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.
Jon Harbinson, 42, of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex, was cleared of the two offences.
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Plumber Hugh Doyle, 48, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property between January 1 and May 19 last year.
None of the men showed any reaction as the verdicts were read.
Another thief, known only as “Basil”, let his co-conspirators into the building by opening the fire escape from inside. He has not been identified.
The Met’s Flying Squad detectives have renewed their appeal for information about him and offered a £20,000 reward for information that leads to his prosecution and conviction.
Ringleaders John “Kenny” Collins, 75, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington, Daniel Jones, 60, of Dartford, Terry Perkins, 67, of Enfield, and the group’s oldest member Brian Reader, 76, of Dartford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary in September. They have been in custody since their arrests. They are due to be sentenced along with Wood, Lincoln and Doyle by Judge Christopher Kinch QC on March 7.
It can now also be reported that Perkins’s daughter Terri Robinson, 35, of Sterling Road, 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, also admitted the same offence.
Speaking at a press briefing, Det Chief Supt Tom Manson said the age of the men convicted at trial and those who pleaded - a combined age of 444 - did not take away from their “dangerous crime” history.
After facing criticism for the way the incident was handled, the Met Police apologised for not following procedures when receiving a call about an intruder alert at the premises at midnight on Good Friday.
Speaking on Thursday, Det Supt Craig Turner added: “We apologise for not actually attending the alarm. It is quite clear that police should have attended. We have reviewed all our systems and processes.
“The key holder did turn up, they would have seen exactly what the police would have seen.”
The gang who broke into the vault included participants of some of the most notorious heists of the last century - Reader had been involved in the £26million gold bullion Brinks Mat robbery, and Perkins was a player in the £6million Security Express raid.
But despite their experience,they were caught after covert recording devices planted in their cars captured them boasting of their endeavours.
Collins’s decision to drive his own white Mercedes on reconnaissance to Hatton Garden is what lead to a breakthrough in the case, when police saw it on CCTV and were able to trace its movements.
The gang stashed the jewellery, gold and cash behind skirting boards at various houses and Jones even buried several bags of jewellery with urns of ashes under memorial stones at a cemetery.
Robinson and Walters are due to be sentenced on March 31.