The final member of a gang which raided a vault in Hatton Garden has been convicted and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment at Woolwich Crown Court, today, Friday, 15 March.
Michael Seed, 58 of Liverpool Road in Islington was charged with conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to conceal or disguise criminal property between 2 April 2015 and 5 April 2015.
Today at court, Seed was found guilty, following a six-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court. He was also convicted of conspiracy to conceal or disguise criminal property in relation to this burglary.
He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to burgle and eight years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to conceal or disguise criminal property, to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, from the Met’s Flying Squad, 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.
“These men were career criminals who carried out one of the biggest safety deposit centre heists in British history without a moment’s thought for any of the victims.
“They broke into 73 safety deposit boxes, and stole approximately £14 million worth of gold, silver, diamonds and jewellery. For many of the victims, these safety deposit boxes contained their life savings, which were cruelly snatched by Seed and his criminal associates.
“Officers trawled CCTV from hundreds of cameras, spoke to hundreds of witnesses, and examined countless pieces of forensic evidence. They were eventually able to piece together the gang’s movements over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in 2015.
“The evidence was so strong that four of the key conspirators pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, and another three were convicted by a unanimous verdict in January 2016.
“Thanks to the unwavering dedication of Flying Squad officers, supported by colleagues across the Met, over the past three years we have now brought the final member of this gang to justice.
“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.
“I would like to highlight the invaluable support provided by our prosecuting team and the Crown Prosecution Service. Most importantly, I would like to thank the victims, the public, and industry partners who have worked closely with us to ensure this investigation brought those responsible to justice.
“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.”