Gold and jewels found at flat of Hatton Garden heist suspect

by: NEWS HEADLINES CN1     Published on: 01 March 2019

Views: 360

1    2   

Description :

The final Hatton Garden suspect denied he was the mastermind known as 'Basil' at court today but accepted he knew three of the convicted raiders.Michael Seed, 58, of Islington, North London, is accused of burgling the safety deposit box centre in the capital with a team of ageing criminals over the Easter bank holiday weekend of 2015.Seed is said to have deactivated the alarm at the Hatton Garden premises, allowing his accomplices to drill through the vault wall and swipe £14million worth of gold, jewels and cash.He was also allegedly involved in a 'strikingly similar' £1million burglary at high-end Chatila in Mayfair during the August Bank Holiday weekend of 2010.Today, the Metropolitan Police released photographs of plastic boxes full of gold and jewellery found at Seed's home along with a BT-branded high-vis jacket, which have been shown to the jury.At Woolwich Crown Court during his second day giving evidence today, Seed denied being he was the mysterious gang member known as 'Basil' and said he had no involvement in the raids. Asked if he was 'Basil' he simply replied: 'No'.But he accepted he knew some of the convicted men from working in Hatton Garden - the diamond district of London - as a jeweller.Well-spoken Seed said he came into contact with some of the jewellery stolen from the gem deposit centre after a chance meeting with Kenny Collins, now 78, in Shoreditch Park.Seed claimed Collins owed him £400 for a diamond he sold to him and they discussed payment.They agreed to meet up near Collins' home in Enfield and the pensioner mentioned he might have some work.'What happened was about a week later I received a call from a friend who has introduced himself as a friend of Kenny,' said Seed.'He said he had some work for me if I was interested in scrap. He said was I interested, I said 'Yes, bring it round'.'He came round, he was in his late 70s maybe 80s. He said he knew me. I am not sure if I knew him. I am not very good at recognising people.'He produced quite a large quantity of gold scrap. He said he wanted it processed. He said he wanted it melted into ingots.'He said anything worthwhile keeping, put it to one side and anything else made into scrap.'Richard Sutton, QC, defending, asked Seed why he had a BT jacket in his flat.Seed explained that he went on drinking sessions with an employee of the telephone firm.'When the police produced it, I did not even know I had it, but I have thought a lot about it.'I like to go out on heavy drinking sessions about once a week. I used to go to Wetherspoons. There was a BT guy there I used to drink with. I think I might have taken his bag home once.'If they found an electrician board worker, they would say I went in as an electrician board worker. They are just taking advantage of what they found..Seed joked that he had lost weight in prison, adding: 'There is no bar in prison.'Police have never been able to trace a mobile phone linking Seed to the raiders, but today he admitted he received a call from Brian Reader, 79, in 2014.Reader was convicted of his involvement in the Hatton Garden heist in 2016.Giving evidence, Seed said: 'I had a call from Brian Reader in 2014.'But he described his contact with Reader as: 'Not at all frequent.'Jurors heard Seed met Collins through Reader in the early 2000s when he used to frequent cafes in Hatton Garden.He also met Daniel Jones in the gem district and went to his house. The court heard Jones bought a bracelet of Seed about ten years ago.Jones' DNA was found in a glove discarded in a cupboard at Chatila and prosecutors claim Seed's DNA can be found within it.However, he denied the argument saying he never owned a glove like it.Seed's computer did not access the internet for ten days including when the Hatton Garden took place.He admitted he would use the web everyday through the internet browser Firefox.However, he argued the internet could have been broken or he was visiting his brother or mother.The court heard Seed visited his family regularly and about twice a year they would go on holiday to Cornwall.Seed told the court he was asked to look after Hatton Garden loot by a shadowy friend of Collins.When police started arresting the raiders, he received a call from a person who he refused to name in court out of fear for his own safety.He said: 'After that I was apprehensive the gold might be stolen because obviously there might be a connection.'There was n