Hatton Garden diamond thieves ordered to pay £27.5m or serve seven more years in prison

Gang stole gold, jewellery, gems and cash during notorious 2015 burglary

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 31 January 2018 00:36 GMT
The hole drilled in the vault wall during the raid of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd
The hole drilled in the vault wall during the raid of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd

The four ringleaders behind the Hatton Garden heist have been ordered to pay back £27.5 million or each face another seven years in jail.

John “Kenny” Collins, 77, Daniel Jones, 63, and Terry Perkins, 69, are serving seven-year sentences, while Brian Reader, 78, is serving six years and three months in jail, for their roles in the notorious burglary.

Judge Christopher Kinch QC said each jointly benefited from an estimated £13.69 million worth of cash, gold and gems stolen from boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in London’s jewellery quarter.

The gang used a drill to bore a hole into a vault wall in April 2015. Some of the gold and jewellery they stole has never been recovered.

At a confiscation hearing at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday, the men were each ordered to pay millions of pounds based on their “available assets”.

If they fail to pay their share of a total of £27.5 million, each will have seven years added onto their current jail sentences, meaning some of the gang members could die behind bars.

But the Crown Prosecution Service, responding to the confiscation hearing, said if one of the four paid an amount of nearly £6.5 million it would be deducted off all four’s bills.

The total amount recovered is likely to be significantly lower than the £27.5 million total value of the order set out in court.

Handing down his ruling, the judge said: “A number of these defendants are not only of a certain age, but have in some cases serious health problems.

“But as a matter of principle and policy it is very difficult to endorse any approach that there is a particular treatment for someone who chooses to go out and commit offences at the advanced stage of their lives that some of these defendants were.”

Collins, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington, north London, was ordered to pay £7.69 million after the court heard he had assets in “liquid form” and property in this jurisdiction and abroad.

Perkins, of Heene Road, Enfield, was told he must pay £6.53m

His barrister Peter Rowlands said Perkins’ flat in Portugal would have to be sold, but said his client, who has been diagnosed with severe heart failure, would have to serve the default sentence as there was “no prospect” of any further funds being recovered.

Jones of Park Avenue, Enfield, north London, was ordered to hand over £6.65 million

His barrister Graham Trembath QC said Jones’ only assets were cash in a bank account and he “will have to serve the default term”.

Reader, who was not in court, was told he must pay back £6.65 million, including the sale of his £639,800 home and development land worth £533,000.

Tom Wainwright, representing Reader, said his client’s sentence “does not have to be very long for it to mean, in reality, he will serve the rest of his life in custody”.

Crown Prosecution Service spokesman Nick Price, speaking after the hearing, said: “These defendants were involved in one of the most notorious burglaries of recent times and much of the property that was stolen has not been returned to its owners. Some defendants will have to return the money to their victims as compensation.

“If further funds or assets of the defendants become available, the CPS will ask the court to increase these confiscation orders until the full benefit figure has been paid.

“The group’s default sentences will meant that if the defendants do not pay their confiscation orders, they will have extra time added to their prison terms.”

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