The ruling was handed down by Judge Christopher Kinch on 9 March at the Woolwich Crown Court in London, the UK.
Kinch sentenced three of the four men who had been named the ‘ringleaders’ of the high-profile heist – John Collins, 75; Daniel Johns, 61; and Terence Perkins, 67 – to seven years prison for conspiracy to commit burglary. The men each received a 30 per cent deduction from the maximum 10-year prison sentence for pleading guilty to the charge in September 2015.
The fourth ringleader, Brian Reader, 76, was reportedly too ill to attend the most recent court hearing after having his second stroke. He was scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.
Two other men involved in the theft, Carl Wood, 59, and William Lincoln, 60, were given six and seven years’ jail time, respectively, on two counts of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.
Hugh Doyle, 49, was convicted of the same crime as Wood and Lincoln but to a lesser degree; he was said to have been involved “long after the burglary”. Acknowledging Doyle’s “limited role” in the heist, Kinch sentenced the man to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
A class of its own
In his sentencing remarks, Kinch said he was unsure of whether the Hatton Garden heist could be proven to be the “biggest burglary in English legal history” as many had claimed.
He stated, however, that “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, the organising of the team to carry it out and in terms of the value of property stolen”.
As previously reported by Jeweller, the Hatton Garden heist, which occurred in the London jewellery and diamond district over the 2015 Easter period, made international headlines last year.
Initially, this was due to the audacity of its Hollywood-style execution and the high value of the goods stolen, but later, the heist again attracted strong media attention when it was discovered that the gang of thieves behind the sophisticated crime comprised a so-called “Dad’s Army” of elderly men, some of which were hard of hearing and exhibiting physical handicaps.
At the time of the crime, it was estimated £200 million (AU$381.3 m) in jewellery and other items had been stolen but Kinch said the current estimate was “just short of £14 million (AU$26.7 m)”, with “at best” approximately one third (£4.5 million or AU$8.6 m) having since been recovered.