Five men have been jailed for up to seven years for the £14m Hatton Garden safety deposit box jewellery raid.
Three ringleaders behind the heist in London’s jewellery quarter during Easter 2015 each received seven years. Two other men, Carl Wood and William Lincoln, were given six and seven years respectively.
The mastermind, Brian Reader, was too ill to attend after a second stroke and will be sentenced later. Sentencing them, the judge said: “The burglary at the heart of this case stands in a class of its own.” The ringleaders jailed for seven years each for conspiracy to commit burglary after pleading guilty last year were:
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.
They each said “thank-you” to the judge as they sat down. Wood, 59, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green, east London, were sentenced for the same offence and one count of and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property, after a trial. Hugh Doyle, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, received a suspended sentence after he was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property between January 1 and May 19 last year.
Speaking outside Woolwich Crown Court, Doyle said he felt “relief that it’s nearly all over… And I just want to spend some time with my family now and I’ve got boilers to fit in north London. “I’ve known Ken [John Collins] for quite a few years, and it’s literally just sucked into, literally, just sucked into it. But it’s just one of those things.”
The gang breached the vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in central London over the Easter weekend last year, stealing items worth an estimated £14m ($20m). Judge Christopher Kinch QC said he did not know if it could be proved as had been claimed in court that it was the “biggest burglary in English history”.
But he said: “It is clear that the burglary at the heart of this case stands in a class of its own in the scale of the ambition, the detail of the planning, the level of preparation and the organisation of the team carrying it out, and in terms of the value of the property stolen.”
Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of the Met’s Flying Squad, described it as “an audacious burglary in the heart of London’s diamond district”. He added: “These men were career criminals who didn’t give a moment’s thought for the people they were stealing from. “For many of the victims these safety deposit boxes represented their livelihood. They put their most valuable property into the vault to keep safe during the bank holiday weekend only to see it cruelly snatched away.”
Around a third of the property has been recovered and most of it returned to the owners, according to the Met.