Hatton Garden Burglars Sentenced

    Hatton Garden Burglars Sentenced

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    Photo from ITV

    Introduction

    On 9th March 2016 the legal chapter (barring any appeals) of the Hatton Garden Heist (not a robbery, but a burglary) drew to a close as those who were convicted and pleaded guilty were sentenced.

    You can read our background to the case here and a good summary of the case is on wikipedia.

     

    Facts

    In brief – over the Easter weekend in 2015 a group of people (with the assistance of some inside knowledge from someone who has not been identified) burgled the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company.

    They did this over a period of time by drilling through the 50cm thick concrete walls having gained entry through a lift shaft. The first time they tried, they found their access was blocked, forcing them to return two nights later to finish the job.

    Whilst in there some £14 million in jewels and precious metals were stolen from 72 safe deposit boxes. Only a third of this loot has been recovered.

     

    Sentences

    The following people previously pleaded guilty Conspiracy to Burgle before the trial started :

    • Terry Perkins (67) – 7 years
    • John Collins (75) – 7 years
    • Daniel Jones (58) – 7 years
    • Brian Reader (72) – sentenced adjourned (for medical reasons)

    The trial featured four men, and the sentences were as follows :

    • Carl Wood (58) –

    – Conspiracy to Burgle – 6 years
    – Conspiracy to Money Launder – 6 years concurrent

    • William Lincoln (60) –

    – Conspiracy to Burgle – 7 years
    – Conspiracy to Money Launder – 6 years concurrent

    • Hugh Doyle (48)

    – Conspiracy to Money Launder – 21 months, suspended for 2 years

    The Judge commented that “it would be contrary to the interests of justice to follow the sentencing guidelines in this case” – which is what we had anticipated given the nature of the crime.

    Those that did plead guilty seem to have been given a 30% discount (nearly the maximum amount of 1/3).

    Mr Reader has recently had a stroke and is suspected to have cancer. He may have a very limited life expectancy (measured in months) and is undergoing tests. He will be sentenced at a later date.

    Comment

    As we had hoped for in such a high profile case, the sentencing remarks have been published – always the first port of call.

    The maximum sentence for commercial burglary (rather than burglary of a house) and for money laundering is ten years. This places a severe limitation on the sentences that could be passed.

    We predicted that the starting point for those involved in the burglary would have been around 9 years (with credit for those who pleaded guilty).

    It seems that we were around about right, if slightly under. The Judge took the 10 year maximum as the starting point (“it must rank among the worst offences of its type“), and gave credit following that.

    The reason why those that had a trial got similar sentences was that they played a lower role.

    It has been confirmed that there will be Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings against all the men.

     

     

     

     

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    Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

    4 COMMENTS

    1. Fascinating case. On the news it was also reported that one of the burglars agreed to give up his share of the loot (he lead police to his hiding place) but he wasn’t given any discount in his sentence. Do the police have the power to offer someone a reduced sentence in exchange for that sort of cooperation?

    2. The police don’t have powers to formally offer a deal such as that (there are procedures in certain situations for the prosecution to offer a reduction). But general principles would be that someone who co-operates gets a lower sentence.

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