Business Standard

London heist gang ordered to pay up or face more jail


AFP London
The four elderly ringleaders behind a massive London heist were ordered to pay back millions of pounds or face another seven years behind bars.

John 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 burglary.

Prosecutors called the raid on Hatton Garden, London's jewellery district, the "biggest burglary in English legal history".

In April 2015, the group used a diamond-tipped industrial drill to bore three large holes in a concrete vault wall 50 centimetres thick, netting booty including jewellery, gold and cash.

They were jailed in March 2016.

Collins was ordered Tuesday to pay 7.7 million (USD 10.9 million, 8.8 million euros), Jones and Reader each 6.6 million and Perkins 6.5 million.

"A number of these defendants are not only of a certain age, but have in some cases serious health problems," said judge Christopher Kinch at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London.

"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."

Speaking of their clients' available assets, lawyers for Jones and Perkins indicated that they would have to serve the default sentence.

Meanwhile Reader's lawyer said his client's jail term would not have to be very long for it to mean him facing the rest of his life locked up.

Speaking after the hearing, Nick Price, head of the proceeds of crime team at the Crown Prosecution Service, 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.

"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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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 6:50 AM IST

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