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Mastermind behind Hatton Garden raid fails to have jail sentence reduced

15:59 16 September 2016

Brian ''the guv'nor'' Reader. Metropolitan Police/PA

Brian ''the guv'nor'' Reader. Metropolitan Police/PA

The 77-year-old suffered a stroke in Belmarsh prison earlier this year

The oldest member of the Hatton Garden jewellery raid gang has failed to win a cut in his jail sentence.

Brian “the guv’nor” Reader - one of the ringleaders of what is said to be the biggest burglary in English history - was given a prison term of six years and three months in March for his role in the £14 million break-in.

At the Court of Appeal in London two judges were urged on behalf of the 77-year-old from Dartford to show “mercy” and reduce his sentence following a “dramatic” deterioration in his health.

But Mr Justice Flaux and Mr Justice Edis rejected Reader’s application for permission to appeal against his sentence.

Mr Justice Flaux said: “The sentence passed was not in any sense manifestly excessive.”

Reader, of Dartford Road, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

The Hatton Garden gang carried out the meticulously planned crime over the Easter weekend last year.

They ransacked 73 boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall.

Valuables worth up to £14 million, including gold, diamonds and sapphires, were taken. Two-thirds of them remain unrecovered.

Mr Justice Flaux said the sentencing judge at Woolwich Crown Court was “well aware” of Reader’s serious health problems and this was reflected in the sentence imposed.

Dismissing Reader’s case, he said: “In our judgment, despite the submissions addressed to us as to why we should show mercy, the reality is that this elderly offender with health problems chose to commit this extremely serious offence in 2015.”

Reader’s sentencing was delayed after he suffered a stroke in Belmarsh Prison.

Judge Christopher Kinch, when imposing the sentence of six years and three months, said he took into account the fact that Reader was “seriously unwell” and needed daily assistance with a number of routine tasks.

He said Reader had a range of medical problems which were “potentially very serious indeed”, but added: “I’m satisfied that you were rightly described as one of the ringleaders and involved in regular meetings.”

Judge Kinch pointed out that while Reader was not present on the second night of the raid, he was there the first night and during “at least one dry run”.

Reader’s previous convictions go back more than 60 years, including one for burglary in 1950.

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