Brian Reader, 79, was the mastermind behind the huge jewellery raid in London’s diamond district
The oldest member of the Hatton Garden jewellery heist gang launched an appeal against a £6.5m confiscation order today – claiming he was cut out of his share of the loot.
Brian Reader, 79, masterminded the £14m jewellery raid in London’s diamond district over Easter weekend in 2015.
However, according to his legal team he was called a ‘ponce’ by the others who offered him ‘a drink’ for his role in the shocking heist.
The career criminal was known as ‘The Guv’nor’ led the gang that stole 70 safety deposit boxes containing gems worth up to £35m.
Reader, who suffered prostate cancer and a series of strokes, was released in July after serving half of his six-year and three-month sentence.
His early release has sparked outrage as he has not repaid the full cost of the stolen gems and cash.
The criminal mastermind was due to spend a further seven years in prison if he failed to pay the £6,644,951 confiscation order imposed on him and his accomplices in January.
Reader was due to return to jail at the end of the month when the pay back limit expires but he was given leave by the Court of Appeal to challenge the order.
Brian Reader was the oldest member of the gang which bored into the vault with a drill (shown) and stole from more than 70 safety deposit boxes over Easter in 2015
However, his barrister James Scobie, QC, said he was still too ill to attend the hearing and give any meaningful evidence to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Scobie said: ‘If one looks at the probes and the conversation that relates to Reader’s activity and the event itself he is described repeatedly as a ‘ponce’ effectively begging for some of the proceeds.’
Referring to the findings of trial judge Christopher Kinch, QC, he added: ‘We accept that he had a leading role, and a planning of the offence (sic) and was present and active on the first day. That doesn’t mean he received anything. No benefit was obtained by anyone at that stage.’
During one of the police probes installed in cars owned by the gang Reader is told: ‘You ain’t getting nothing mate’ according to Mr Scobie.
Reader was also mocked being told: ‘You can get a drink’.
Mr Scobie’s other point was: ‘He (Reader), the court knew full well, could not give any meaningful evidence to that court.’
The barrister also referred to a medical report and said: ‘It is my opinion Mr Reader will struggle significantly in the court room setting to accurately hear and following proceedings.’
Since his release Reader has been enjoying his freedom at his home in Kent and has been spotted going for rides in his son’s Porsche sports car.
Brian Reader was the mastermind behind the heist but he claimed he was not cut in on the final haul and was instead offered ‘a drink’
Due to his health, Reader received a sentence seven months shorter than his fellow Hatton Garden ringleaders.
Reader, of Dartford, Kent, had admitted conspiracy to commit burglary.
John Collins, 77, of Islington, north London; Daniel Jones, 63, of Enfield, north London; Terry Perkins, 69, of Enfield, and William Lincoln, of Bethnal Green, east London, all admitted the same offence and were each given seven years.
William Lincoln, 62, of Bethnal Green, east London, was found guilty of the same offence and one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.
Judge Kinch had ordered Reader, Perkins, Collins and Jones pay back £27,507,388 between them, or face another seven years each in jail, if they do not pay that sum.
Lincoln was ordered to pay a much smaller £26,898 for his lesser role in the plot or face another nine months in jail.
The hearing continues.