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Hatton Garden: Who were the jewellery heist raiders?

The Hatton Garden raiders were dubbed "Dad's Army" on account of their advanced age and many had extensive criminal records going back decades.

BBC News takes a look at the men behind the audacious plot to steal precious metals, cash and jewels worth more than £14m.


Brian Reader (known by the gang as "The Master")

Date of Birth: 28.02.1939

Address: Dartford Road, Dartford, Kent

Plea: Admitted conspiracy to burgle

Reader, a career criminal known as "The Master" and "The Governor" by his fellow gang members, had stood trial in the 1980s accused of murdering a police officer.

He was chosen to mastermind the Hatton Garden raid due to his involvement in the notorious Brinks Mat robbery of 1983.

During that raid, gold bullion and diamonds worth £26m (about £78m in today's values) were taken from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport in what is still Britain's biggest gold robbery.

Reader - and fellow criminal Kenneth Noye - were suspected of laundering the proceeds and placed under surveillance.

When they found Det Con John Fordham spying on them in the grounds of Noye's home in Kent, Noye stabbed the detective 11 times in the back.

Both men were placed on trial for murder but were acquitted after Noye claimed to have been acting in self defence.

Police had found 11 gold bullion bars at Noye's home though and he and Reader were jailed for eight and 14 years respectively for conspiracy to handle stolen goods. Noye would later reach new levels of infamy for the road rage murder of Stephen Cameron and is currently serving a life sentence.

Reader, who ran a used car dealership, pulled out of the Hatton Garden raid after the failed break-in attempt on the first night when the gang's drill broke. Call data records and police observation showed that he continued to meet up with the other ring leaders following the raid.

The eldest of the group, he used somebody else's Freedom Pass to get a bus to Hatton Garden on the night of the raid.

He was filmed on CCTV in the area wearing a distinctive red scarf later found at his Dartford home, where he was arrested on 19 May.

When they searched his house detectives also found a book on the diamond underworld, a diamond tester, a diamond gauge and diamond magazines.


Daniel (Danny) Jones

D.O.B. 01.03.1955

Address: Park Avenue, Enfield, north London

Plea: Admitted conspiracy to burgle

An experienced criminal with convictions for burglary, attempted robbery and handling stolen goods dating back to 1975, Jones was convicted in 1982 of stealing items worth £92,000 from Ratner's jewellers.

He was also described in court as "eccentric" and "mad". His friend Carl Wood told Woolwich Crown Court: "Danny is a very sensitive guy, a very funny man. Eccentric to extremes, everyone who knew Danny would say he was mad. He would go to bed in his mother's dressing gown with a fez on."

The court heard Jones claimed to have fortune-telling powers, spoke to his dog Rocket as though it was human and was obsessed with the Army and keeping fit, often preferring a sleeping bag on the floor to a bed.

One of the four ringleaders, he was arrested on 19 May along with two other conspirators after dropping off some of the loot at a house in Enfield.

He was caught on CCTV wearing an eccentric outfit during the raid, complete with striped trousers, a hi-vis waistcoat, red trainers and a navy baseball cap.

He, along with mystery man "Basil", actually climbed through the hole that had been bored into the vault.

When his house was searched police found a book called Forensics for Dummies, facemasks and a drill as well as uncounted cash.

While in custody, awaiting trial, Jones claimed he wanted to "come clean" and give back his share of the robbery. To that end he wrote a letter to the media offering to show police where he had hidden it.

But when he was escorted to Edmonton Cemetery, in north London, he only showed them a small portion of his stash and lied under direct questioning when asked if he knew about any more loot buried about 20m (65ft) away, which the police had already found.


John Kenneth Collins (known as Kenny)

D.O.B. 05.09.1940

Address: Bletsoe Walk, Islington, north London

Plea: Admitted conspiracy to burgle

Collins was the gang's lookout man and in covert police recordings described how he sat outside on his own all night, while Danny and a mystery burglar called Basil were inside the vault.

He also drove the van to the safe deposit and performed a number of reconnaissance trips to Hatton Garden - but in a covertly recorded conversation, Danny Jones claims that Collins fell asleep on the job.

Collins was described in court as "instrumental in gaining access to the vault", visiting the area many times to assess its weaknesses. He also purchased the extra equipment needed to drill through the wall of the vault.

He was also a ringleader and recruited his nephew William Lincoln as a getaway driver and may have recruited another man, Hugh Doyle, to the criminal enterprise, the court heard.

Collins was arrested shortly after he received the stolen jewels. Police searches of Collins's home in Islington, recovered a large amount of cash, wrist watches, coins, jewellery and a money counter.


Terence (Terry) Perkins

D.O.B. 04.04.1948

Address: Dartford Road, Dartford

Plea: Admitted conspiracy to burgle

Perkins robbed the vaults of Security Express in 1983 - the biggest cash raid in British history. The robbers stole nearly £6m from a depot in Shoreditch, east London, over the Easter weekend. Perkins was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison for his part in the heist.

He bragged of having worked with Reader on up to four different jobs over 12 years.

Hatton Garden investigators installed a listening device in his blue Citroen Saxo which recorded him saying he planned to use his share of the spoils to fund his pension. He was arrested with Collins and Jones having dropped off a holdall containing some of the loot.

Perkins celebrated his birthday during the raid and was involved in all stages of the operation, including disposing of the stolen goods.

He was inside the Hatton Garden building posing as a builder and "working" inside the lift on March 31.

When his home was searched police found jewellery, cash, blue workman's overalls and five pairs of white fabric gloves, that ensured the burglars left no forensic trace of themselves at the scene.


Michael Seed (known as 'Basil')

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Michael Seed's defence lawyers denied he was the mystery Hatton Garden raider known as "Basil"

D.O.B: 09.08.1960

Address: Birkenhead House, Liverpool Road, Islington, north London

Plea: Convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to convert or transfer criminal property

Michael Seed, nick-named "Basil", became the last suspect in the Hatton Garden heist to be convicted in March 2019.

The alarm specialist, who pays no taxes, claims no benefits and rarely uses a bank account, evaded capture for three years before police raided his flat on 27 March 2018.

The son of a university professor, Seed gained A-levels in physics, chemistry, maths and geology at a secondary modern school outside Cambridge before studying physics and electronics at Nottingham University, where he "enjoyed recreational drugs" and "used to take LSD every weekend" before his one previous run-in with the law.

In 1984, aged 24, Seed was handed a three-year prison sentence for supplying controlled drugs of Class A and Class B after selling 10 LSD tablets and some cannabis to a friend.

He was released after serving 21 months and moved into a one-bedroom council flat in Islington where he lived up until his arrest.

Seed told jurors he worked fixing televisions, video recorders and computers before moving into the jewellery trade in the mid-1990s.

"It's purely a thing for money," he said.

"I have never had an interest in jewellery or even a liking for it.

"I got into the recycling jewellery thing because I'm good with my hands."

He said it was around this time when he first met career criminal Brian Reader.


William Lincoln (aka Billy the fish)

Image copyright Julia Quenzler

D.O.B. 15.06.1955

Address: Winkley St, Bethnal Green, east London

Plea: Convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

Lincoln was the gang's getaway driver. Known as Billy the Fish to friends because he used to visit Billingsgate Fish Market on Fridays, this is where he claimed to be on the morning of the robbery.

He was arrested on 19 May 2015 driving his black Audi A3. The arresting officers found a torn up, handwritten note on the floor beside him. The writing on the note gave the address of the Wheatsheaf pub, where some of the loot was handled.

By his own admission Lincoln was "not the sharpest knife in the drawer".

The defence tried to paint a picture of him as being easily influenced by others and he told the court he never refused anyone anything.

Lincoln knew Collins through Collins's sister, with whom Lincoln was living in Bethnal Green.

He was convicted several years ago of beating a man outside of his house with a chair.

But the trial heard he had several health problems - including severe osteoarthritis - for which he had undergone a double hip replacement.


Hugh Doyle

Image copyright PA

D.O.B. 28.02.1967

Address: Riverside Gardens, Enfield

Plea: Convicted of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

Doyle was a plumbing engineer whose workshop was based close to the Wheatsheaf pub.

There was no evidence he ever went to Hatton Garden. His role was to provide an exchange point for the final handover of loot outside his business premises. He was arrested in his car on 19 May.

Doyle told jurors he was ignorant of the Hatton Garden plot and was unaware three men he used to meet in Islington once a month for drinks in the 1990s or early 2000s were the ringleaders of the heist.

He said he gave his friend Collins a key to his office because Collins had asked to borrow a van and store some property at his premises in Enfield. He denied being aware there was any connection to the Hatton Garden raid.


Carl Wood

D.O.B. 24.2.1957

Address: Elderbek Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire

Plea: Convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property

Wood, who has Crohn's disease and lives on disability allowance, was anxious about being £8,890 in debt and became involved in the raid for that reason, the Crown said.

He claimed to be supporting his family on the £320 disability allowance he received every fortnight.

Wood pulled out of the heist on the second night when he found the fire escape door was closed. His friend Jones subsequently refused to give him any of the spoils to help clear his debts and no loot was found at his house.

Wood was arrested on 19 May 2015 at his home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

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