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Hatton Garden gang ringleader to pay back £6.6m after losing appeal

Brian Reader Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Brian Reader of Dartford, Kent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary

A ringleader of the Hatton Garden jewellery raid has been ordered to pay back £6.6m after losing an appeal.

Brian Reader, 79, of Dartford, Kent, failed to persuade the Court of Appeal in London on Tuesday that a confiscation order against him was wrongly imposed.

Reader, who was also known as "the guv'nor", was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the break-in.

The raid has been branded the "largest burglary in English legal history".

Reader had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary following the raid, which was carried out over the Easter weekend in 2015.

It is believed the men jointly benefitted from an estimated £13.69m worth of stolen cash, gold and gems. It is thought two thirds of the valuables remain unrecovered.

In January the four ringleaders behind the raid were told they must pay a total of £27.5m or face another seven years in jail.

Reader, who claims he did not receive anything from the proceeds of the burglary, was ordered to pay £6,644,951, including the sale of his £639,800 home and development land worth £533,000.

In August, Hatton Garden burglar Daniel Jones was handed more jail time after failing to pay back more than £6m.

He was sentenced to another six years and 287 days because he failed to pay off the confiscation order imposed in his case.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd was breached over the 2015 Easter weekend

Lord Justice Singh, Mr Justice Goss and Judge Deborah Taylor, who heard that Reader is not in custody, rejected his application for leave to appeal against the order, ruling that he had no "arguable" grounds.

Mr Justice Goss, announcing the decision, said the judge who imposed the order had made "no error of law", and was "justified in making a finding of joint benefit based on the available evidence".

The appeal judges heard on Tuesday that Reader, the oldest member of the gang, was in "ill health".

In September 2016 he failed to win a reduction in his prison sentence.

Court of Appeal judges were urged to show "mercy" and reduce the term following a "dramatic" deterioration in his health.

But the court ruled that his sentence was not "manifestly excessive".

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