Ten years for the ‘last’ of the Hatton Garden gang
‘Basil’ – a ringleader of safety deposit box raiders – ‘had £143,000 in gold and gems in bedroom’
26 March, 2019 — By Tom Foot
THE Hatton Garden robbery ringleader, known as “Basil”, has been jailed for 10 years for his role in a daring £14million heist.
Michael Seed, who evaded police for three years after the infamous tunnelling robbery, was convicted following a six-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
It is believed Mr Seed, from Liverpool Road, Islington, let himself into a Hatton Garden building using a set of keys before overriding the security system. He was one of two men who climbed into the vault and stole from 73 safe deposit boxes after the gang of aging crooks drilled through a thick concrete wall over the Easter bank holiday weekend four years ago.
A jury cleared him of conspiracy to burgle the high-end Chatila jewellery store in Bond Street over the late August bank holiday weekend in 2010 with members of the same gang.
After the sentencing, Flying Squad Detective Mark Bedford said: “The conviction of Seed brings to a close one of the longest investigations in the Flying Squad’s history. This was a complex and meticulous inquiry into the burglary in the heart of London’s diamond district.
“Seed, who was more widely known as Basil, was responsible for accessing the Hatton Garden premises and disabling the security systems within. He was the only outstanding suspect in this long-running case, and has now been convicted alongside his co-defendants.
“To date we have recovered just over a third of the property stolen from Hatton Garden, and much of it has already been returned to the victims.
“A subsequent investigation will now be carried out in partnership with specialist financial investigators from the Met’s criminal finance team in order to ensure Seed does not enjoy any financial benefit from his part in these burglaries.”
The Hatton Garden heist captured the imagination of the public and inspired a feature film starring Michael Caine.
When police finally raided Mr Seed’s home in March last year, they found £143,000 of gold ingots, gems and jewellery in his bedroom.
Mr Seed was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to burgle and eight years for conspiracy to conceal or disguise criminal property, to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
Fellow Hatton Garden ringleaders Brian Reader, 80, John “Kenny” Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 64, and Terry Perkins, who died in prison last year aged 69, were all jailed in 2016.
Detectives believe the gang could have been operating undetected for decades before they were caught, but cannot link them to any other crimes.