London

Hatton Garden raid ringleader Brian Reader taken to hospital

Brian Reader Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Brian Reader was taken from Belmarsh Prison to hospital on Wednesday

The mastermind behind the Hatton Garden jewellery raid has been taken to hospital days before his sentencing, his family has confirmed.

Brian Reader, 76, fell seriously ill at Belmarsh Prison, where he is being held, and was taken to nearby Queen Elizabeth hospital on Wednesday.

Reader, the oldest member of the gang, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary last September.

He is due to be sentenced on 7 March with six others over the £14m raid.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "An HMP Belmarsh prisoner was taken to hospital on 24 February. He remains there in order to receive treatment for an ongoing medical condition.

"Appropriate security measures are in place."

'Unlikely' to attend sentencing

Reader's solicitor Hesham Puri said Reader was being treated for "a number of issues" at the south-east London hospital and it was "unlikely" his client would be able to attend the sentencing hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The gang raided safe deposit boxes for jewels after boring into the vault

The "largest burglary in English legal history" took place at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd in London's jewellery quarter over Easter last year.

The gang raided safe deposit boxes for jewels after boring into the vault.

John "Kenny" Collins, Daniel Jones and Terry Perkins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Carl Wood and William Lincoln were convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

Hugh Doyle was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property.

Another thief, known only as "Basil", is yet to be identified and is still at large.

Reader was also involved in the £26m gold bullion Brink's-Mat robbery three decades ago.

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