Career criminal behind Hatton Garden raid dies in prison

One of the ringleaders behind the Hatton Garden burglary has died in prison.

Terry Perkins, 69, is understood to have died of natural causes at HMP Belmarsh, where he was serving a seven-year sentence for his role in the notorious heist.

It comes days after the career criminal was ordered to pay £6.5 million or have his sentence doubled.

Last week Perkins' barrister Peter Rowlands said his client had been diagnosed with "severe heart failure".

He told Woolwich Crown Court Perkins would have to sell his £72,000 apartment in Portugal, but would have to serve the extra years as there was "no prospect" of any further funds being recovered.

Hatton Garden court case
Terry Perkins was one of the ringleaders behind the raid (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A prison service spokesman confirmed Perkins died in custody on Monday, adding: "As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the prisons and probation ombudsman."

Perkins was due to face trial later this year for another high-end raid, in which more than £1 million worth of goods was swiped from Chatila jewellers in Old Bond Street on the August bank holiday weekend in 2010.

He was one of the key players behind the Hatton Garden burglary,  in which an estimated £13.69 million of gold, cash and gems were ransacked from 73 safe deposit boxes after a hole was drilled through the vault wall.

Perkins, of Heene Road, Enfield pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in London's jewellery quarter. along with fellow ringleaders John "Kenny" Collins, 77, Daniel Jones, 63, and Brian Reader, 78.

He passed his 67th birthday during the raid over the 2015 Easter weekend.

Exactly 32 years earlier, on April 4  1983, he celebrated his 35th birthday by carrying out an armed robbery on the headquarters of Security Express, on Curtain Road, in Shoreditch.

He was part of a gang of masked robbers who made off with £6m in what, at the time, was Britain's biggest cash robbery.

Perkins was jailed for 22 years at the Old Bailey in 1985, along with John Knight, where they were described as "two evil, ruthless men".

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