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Hatton Garden raid: Stashed jewellery 'was not from heist'

Court drawing of Jon Harbinson Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Taxi driver Jon Harbinson denies being a part of the £14m Hatton Garden heist

Jewellery found stashed in the house of a man accused of being part of the Hatton Garden heist was not from the raid, a court heard.

Cherie Wright, partner of Jon Harbinson, told Woolwich Crown Court that items found by police hidden behind cupboards in their house were more than 15 years old.

Mr Harbinson, 42, had also been "acting normally" at the time of the raid.

He denies conspiracy to commit burglary at Hatton Garden.

After the heist, police discovered designer watches, gold chains, rings and other valuables hidden in the couple's house.

Cherie Wright, Mr Harbinson's partner for 22 years, told the court the couple owned the items.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Cherie Wright said she was "100% sure" that a ring seized in the search by police belonged to her partner

A photo taken about 15 years ago of Mr Harbinson with his daughter showed her partner wearing one of the watches found by police, she claimed.

Ms Wright said her partner had hidden the valuables because he was "a little bit security-conscious".

However, prosecutor Philip Stott accused Ms Wright of changing her evidence, having told police she did not recognise the jewellery when the items were found.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Jewellery including gold chains and watches were seized from various houses
Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The raid on the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company took place over Easter weekend in 2015

Ms Wright was also asked about a crime biography found in Mr Harbinson's house which included a passage on a jewellery raid that had been underlined.

She told the court the book was a present given to her partner by a friend 10 years ago.

However, she said she had never seen him reading the text and it had been at the bottom of a cupboard for at least six years.

Prosecutors have previously claimed the jewellery raid in the biography is "exactly like Hatton Garden" with similar methods and equipment mentioned in the text.

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

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

The case 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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