London

Hatton Garden raid: 'Getaway driver was buying fish'

  • 27 November 2015
  • From the section London
Hatton Garden Safety Deposit scene of robbery Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The raid took place over the Easter weekend

The alleged getaway driver in the Hatton Garden raid claimed he could not have taken part in the plot because he had been buying fish for Good Friday.

William Lincoln, 60, of Bethnal Green, east London, is accused in the biggest burglary in British legal history.

Up to £14m was taken from safety deposit boxes in London's jewellery quarter over the Easter Bank Holiday.

An expert told Woolwich Crown Court a mobile linked to Mr Lincoln had been located near Billingsgate Fish Market.

Mr Lincoln denies conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption An expert said a phone linked to William Lincoln had been located near the famous fish market on 3 April

It is alleged the group, led by "mastermind" Brian Reader, 76, an experienced criminal, drilled into the reinforced concrete vault of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit after workers locked up on Thursday, 2 April.

The court heard a mobile linked to Mr Lincoln was used early the following morning at about 04:40 BST in East India, close to the famous Billingsgate Fish Market.

Giving evidence for the prosecution, mobile phone location expert Kevin Weeks confirmed the position and time of the phone.

'A lot of fish'

Defending Mr Lincoln Mark Tomassi, said: "Friday 3 of April is Good Friday.

"You can take it from me that a lot of fish, I suggest, is sold on Good Friday.

"The timing is critical, this is the time of the alleged events. One of the men alleged to be part of the conspiracy, if all this data is right... is at Billingsgate Fish Market during the currency of what is believed to be largest burglary in history.

"He buys fish and he goes home," he added.

Later that day, the phone was located near his home.


Defendants and charges

  • Carl Wood, 58, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
  • William Lincoln, 60, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
  • Jon Harbinson, 42, of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
  • Hugh Doyle, 48, of Riverside Gardens, Enfield: Charged with conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property and faces an alternative charge of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property

Previously John Collins, 75, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington; Daniel Jones, 58, of Park Avenue, Enfield; Terry Perkins, 67, of Heene Road, Enfield and Brian Reader, 76, of Dartford Road, Dartford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

They will be sentenced at a later date.


Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Terry Perkins, John Collins, Daniel Jones and Brian Reader pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle

But prosecutor Philip Evans said records showed his phone was later picked up in the vicinity of Hatton Garden and the home of alleged co-conspirator John Collins.

His car was also spotted in the London Bridge area, it is claimed.

The men failed to steal any jewels from the vault on the first night and returned without Mr Reader the following day. Mr Lincoln was next in contact with the group on Sunday, 8 April, once they had successfully gained entry to the vault, it is claimed.

Mr Evans said: "Having agreed to be a party to the conspiracy Lincoln agreed that his role would be as a getaway driver for the stolen property."

The trial continues.

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