Hatton Garden: Secrets of Tory abuse cover-up that even made heist boss sick

Hatton Garden: Secrets of Tory abuse cover-up that even made heist boss sick

Brian Reader and his gang found sickening images featuring a prominent
Tory cabinet minister during a massive raid in 1971, according to an
insider

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CID officers outside Lloyd Bank following the discovery of the robbery
CID officers outside Lloyd Bank following the discovery of the robbery

Bankers stopped police from uncovering an alleged Tory child abuse
scandal unwittingly stumbled on by burglars, a new book claims.
Master
thief Brian Reader and his gang found sickening images featuring a
prominent Tory cabinet minister during a massive raid in 1971, according
to an insider.

The
crooks allegedly discovered the vile pictures after tunnelling into a
branch of Lloyds in London’s Baker Street and rifling through scores of
safety deposit boxes.
Reader – who four decades later
masterminded the £14million Hatton Garden heist which also used
tunnelling – was said to be disgusted by the images.
But despite
claims that the gang left the evidence scattered across the floor for
police to find, nothing was ever done – and the pictures never emerged.

Last January the Mirror reported how Reader’s gang had left
the damning photos for cops, hoping the paedo politician would be
brought to justice.

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Brian Reader
Brian Reader

Now, 45 years on, it has been revealed that bank staff were
“extremely uncooperative” with police, refusing to provide a full list
of safety deposit box holders or let them remove property from the
vault.
The Baker Street heist has gone down as one of the most
infamous in British history. A gang dubbed the “millionaire moles”
tunnelled 40ft under Baker Street – famed as the HQ of detective
Sherlock Holmes – and blasted their way into the Lloyds branch.
They stole £3.5million from 268 boxes – worth the equivalent of £40million today – making it ­Britain’s biggest ever burglary.
For years the main gang members were never known.
But
in a new Mirror book, One Last Job, it is claimed that Reader – now
aged 77 and serving six years for his part in 2015’s Hatton Garden heist
– had a leading role.
A close confidant of Reader said: “It was a
shock for the gang when they found photographs of a famous ­politician
abusing children.

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Rubbish and rubble left in the basement of the Le Sac shop by the robbers
Rubbish and rubble left in the basement of the Le Sac shop by the robbers
Mirrorpix
Rubbish and rubble left in the basement of the Le Sac shop by the robbers
Rubbish and rubble left in the basement of the Le Sac shop by the robbers

“They were disgusted and left the photos lying on the floor of the vault for the police to find but nothing was ever done.”
Freshly
unearthed documents found in the National Archive reveal there was a
“heated argument” between detectives and bank officials inside the
ransacked vault.
Police were never even told about any alleged
pictures the raiders left and the bank refused to reveal the names of
safety deposit box holders without their permission.
The documents suggest bank staff were concerned with protecting their clients’ privacy above all else.

An internal Scotland Yard memo from 1975, now released,
stated: “There was a considerable quantity of property left in the vault
and tunnel but after a heated argument with bank officials they took
possession of it.
“This property was never handled by police and to this day it is not known what that ­property consisted of or its value.”
After
the raid, detectives wrote to Lloyds asking for details of all deposit
box holders and a breakdown of their visits to the vault.
This was prompted by suspicions that one of them could have gained the “knowledge of the room” required to pull off the heist.

PA
'Basil' on the second floor at Hatton Garden on day one of the robbery. Carl Wood, William Lincoln and Hugh Doyle have been convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of involvement in the Hatton Garden raid
CCTV captured much of the robbery
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hatton garden robbery
Smashed safe deposit boxes are pictured in the underground vault of Hatton Garden

But Lloyds’ head of security refused, saying it was “a fundamental
concept” of British banking to preserve secrecy over the affairs of
those who used its services.
An internal police memo from one of
the first officers on the scene, Detective Sergeant Barrie Newman,
stated: “The vault was in complete disarray with property, including
jewellery etc, being scattered about the floor.
“Any property
dropped by the thieves was, in fact, retained by the bank on their
insistence that it was on their premises and their responsibility.
Police are not in a position to say what was left behind and what the
bank did with this property.”
Some of the victims of the robbery
took civil action against Lloyds and senior officers were asked to
provide High Court statements.
Drafts of several statements are in the National Archives.

In one dated 1974 former Detective Chief Inspector John
Candlish said: “Whilst the bank provided us with every facility which we
required during our investigations they were extremely uncooperative
when it came to dealing with the stolen property itself.”

One Last Job
Details of the alleged cover-up are revealed in a new book

Another was from Commander Robert Huntley, who described the
disagreement between police and bank staff over who should get “custody”
of items taken from safety deposit boxes but left on the floor.
He
added: “I recall that there were various inspectors of the bank at the
premises and I spoke to the chief inspector and the manager who told me
that they had decided not to hand over the property.
“This was probably on the basis that they felt a duty of secrecy to their clients.”
When the bank did finally provide a list of box holders it was incomplete.
Reader,
who will be played in next year’s film The Hatton Garden Job by former
EastEnders star Larry Lamb, has never confessed to being on the Baker
Street raid – but several sources insist that he was there.
Two of his old gang members were eventually convicted.

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Holes drilled to access a vault in a safe deposit centre in Hatton Garden
The Hatton Garden raid was the most lucrative in British criminal history

One was car dealer Reg Tucker, 37, who had rented a deposit box and
visited the vault more than a dozen times, using his umbrella to measure
its dimensions.
Also convicted was Tony Gavin, 38, a
barrel-chested former Army PT instructor who lost a stone and a half
while digging the tunnel.
Excavations began from the basement of Le Sac, a leather goods shop an associate had leased two doors along.
One
gang member who said his doctor had told him to avoid confined spaces
was posted as a lookout on a nearby roof, later becoming known as
“Sleepy Bob” for complaining about being tired. The blast to blow a hole
into the bank vault was timed to coincide with a traffic light turning
green so the noise would be masked by rumbling traffic.

How the Mirror reported the story earlier this year

Gavin and Tucker were later jailed for 12 years along with two minor
gang members. Reader was believed to have jetted off to Spain while the
rest of the team were never caught.
The 2008 film The Bank Job,
starring Jason Statham, suggested MI5 orchestrated the break-in to steal
compromising pictures of Princess Margaret with a lover.
But the gang insider insists reality was even stranger – and even more disturbing – than fiction.

  • Order One Last Job for £8.99 from Mirror Collection on 0845 143 0001 or online at mirrorcollection.co.uk

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