Hatton Garden: Book found detailed 'similar heist'

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Media captionBBC's Home Affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford reports from Woolwich Crown Court.

A crime biography with a page marked outlining a jewellery raid "exactly like Hatton Garden" was found at the home of a man accused of taking part in the £14m heist, a court has heard.

The book Killer by Charlie Seiga was found at taxi driver Jon Harbinson's home, when it was searched by police.

Prosecutors allege similar methods and equipment were used in the book as in the Easter Bank Holiday raid.

Mr Harbinson denies conspiracy to commit burglary at Hatton Garden.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption William Lincoln, Jon Harbinson and Hugh Doyle (l-r) deny the charges against them

The 42-year-old of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex, is accused of transporting away some of the proceeds of the raid.

Among his co-accused is his uncle William Lincoln.

He told Woolwich Crown Court he had no knowledge of the book by former armed robber Charlie Seiga who was billed as the "Houdini of the criminal underworld" and had the nickname "Killer".

Image caption The prosecution alleges the book includes similar details to the Hatton Garden raid

Prosecutor Philip Stott asked Mr Harbinson: "He (Seiga) is talking about his criminal life and heists he had been involved in. Is that something you had an interest in?"

Mr Harbinson replied: "Many years ago, possibly."

Mr Stott went on: "There was a bookmark in this page."

Mr Harbinson replied: "That's what you say but I don't know, I wasn't there."

He was asked if he was interested in the Hatton Garden plan he was "engaged in", and responded: "I wasn't engaged in it. If this book is so prevalent in evidence against me why wasn't it forensically examined?"

Mr Stott continued: "It was bookmarked on a page that is exactly what took place in Hatton Garden."

He showed him the grey card used to mark the page which Mr Harbinson agreed was probably the back of a book of taxi receipts.

Mr Stott said: "This was your book and you were reading it, weren't you?" to which the accused replied: "No sir."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd was breached over the Easter weekend

On Monday, the court heard he was asked about items of jewellery found at his home.

Mr Harbinson said one piece, a necklace, was given to him by his grandmother, which had sentimental value to him.

Another item, a sovereign ring, was a present from his parents, while another half-sovereign was a gift to his sister when he got his first job, he told the court.

The trial continues.

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

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