Hatton Garden jewel thieves went to court after committing the biggest burglary in British history, an audacious heist at the heart of London’s Gem district.
Three men were found guilty for their part in the record breaking £14 million heist. The men were eventually caught after police bugged their bragging conversations.
Brian Reader earned his notoriety from his close friendship with Kenny Noye. He and Noye made their fortune cheating VAT on gold, which then carried only a maximum of two years imprisonment and by 1981 were said to be earning £200,000 a year each.
Criss-crossing London and ferrying the bars from Kent to the West Country, Reader did business with some of the most notorious gangsters of 1980’s including Michael Lawson, Tommy Adams, John “Little Legs” Lloyd and Solly Nahome.
Paul Reader was also arrested over the Hatton Garden heist but charges were dropped before the trial. Valuables worth up to £14 million, including gold, diamonds and sapphires, were taken, with 70% of them remain unrecovered.
Reader was Noye’s trusted aide in moving the gold bullion from the £26 million stolen Brink’s-Mat bullion.
The men would often meet a short distance from London’s diamond district, making plans at The Castle pub on Pentonville Road in Islington, and Scotti’s, a nearby cafe.
Reader – recognizable by his striped socks and brown shoes – Jones, Perkins, Collins, allegedly Wood, and the man known as “Basil” entered Hatton Garden Safe Deposit at around on April 4.
Once inside, the men used the lift shaft to access the basement, disabled the alarm and drilled into the vault wall using a drill they had taken with them. They ransacked 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall.
CCTV footage shows them arriving in a white van and unloading tools, bags, metal joists and wheelie bins. The men used walkie-talkies to communicate and their mobile phones were in “radio silence”.
Plumber Hugh Doyle, 48, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield, north London, was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property between January 1 and May 19, 2018.
“None of the men showed any reaction as they were convicted”.
News Punch.com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.