Hatton Garden heist 'guv'nor' jailed for six years

Hatton Garden mastermind Brian "the guv'nor" Reader has been sentenced to six years and three months in jail for his role in the £14 million jewellery raid.

The 77-year-old - the oldest member of the gang - suffered a stroke in Belmarsh Prison following what was the biggest burglary in English history.

Appearing via video link at Woolwich Crown Court, Reader, who the court was told now uses a walking frame, was sentenced to six years and three months by Judge Christopher Kinch QC.

Reader, of Dartford Road, Dartford, Kent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary last September.

Judge Kinch said he took into account the fact that Reader is "seriously unwell" and needs daily assistance with a number of routine tasks.

He said Reader has a range of medical problems which are "potentially very serious indeed", but added: "I'm satisfied that you were rightly described as one of the ringleaders and involved in regular meetings."

The judge pointed out that while Reader was not present on the second night of the heist, he was there the first night and during "at least one dry run".

The court heard about Reader's ill-health - how he has suffered from a number of strokes, prostate cancer, loss of hearing, disruption to his vision, and now requires daily assistance with tasks like showering.

Reader's sentencing was delayed after he suffered a stroke in Belmarsh Prison and a previous court hearing was told he "may only have months to live".

Appearing on screens in the court from Belmarsh, the pensioner looked frail, and was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and glasses.

His previous convictions go back more than 60 years, including a burglary conviction in 1950.

The judge said there was "a degree of irony" in the way Reader was known as "the master", but said he was satisfied that Reader was still accepted in the "inner circle" despite not being there on the second night.

He remained on the inside of the conspiracy, the judge said.

The Hatton Garden gang carried out the "sophisticated" and meticulously planned break-in over the Easter weekend last year.

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

Valuables worth up to £14 million, including gold, diamonds and sapphires, were taken.

Two-thirds of them remain unrecovered.

Another thief, known only as Basil, remains at large. He was instrumental in helping the gang get into the vault in the heart of London's diamond district.

Ringleaders John "Kenny" Collins, 75, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington, north London; Daniel Jones, 61, of Park Avenue, Enfield, north London; Terry Perkins, 67, of Heene Road, Enfield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary last September.

Collins, Jones and Perkins were each given a seven-year prison term.

Carl Wood, 59, of Elderbek Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and William Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green, east London, were found guilty of the same offence and one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property, after trial.

Lincoln was also given a seven-year sentence, and Wood was jailed for six years.

Plumber Hugh Doyle, 49, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property between January 1 and May 19 last year.

He was jailed for 21 months, suspended for two years.

Perkins's daughter Terri Robinson, 36, of Sterling Road, Enfield, previously pleaded guilty to concealing, converting or transferring criminal property, alongside her brother-in-law Brenn Walters, 44, who is also known as Ben Perkins.

The pair each received sentences of 18 months suspended for two years.

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