The Hatton Garden jewel raid was the “largest burglary in English legal history”, a court has been told.
Items estimated at £14m were taken in April, Woolwich Crown Court heard. The haul included platinum ingots.
Carl Wood, 58, William Lincoln, 60, and 42-year-old John Harbinson deny conspiracy to commit burglary.
Hugh Doyle, 48, is charged with one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property between 1 January and 19 May this year.
The raid took place over the Easter weekend at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in London’s jewellery quarter.
Prosecutor Philip Evans told the court “this offence was to be the largest burglary in English legal history”. He added that “at best” about one third of the property had been recovered.
Defendants and charges
- Carl Wood, of Elderbeck Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
- William Lincoln, of Winkley Street, Bethnal Green: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
- Jon Harbinson, of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex: Charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property
- Hugh Doyle, 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
Burglars breached 73 boxes, of which 44 were being used.
The court heard the 44 boxes were rented by 40 victims and that all of the owners traded mainly in jewellery, loose precious stones and precious metals.
Items taken included gold and platinum ingots, chains and rings.
“What has become apparent from this process is that the items which have been recovered are in the main the lower value items that were stolen,” Mr Evans said.
The jury was shown 3D images of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit that revealed the damage the burglars caused which included broken doors and gates.
They were also told much of the evidence had come from mobile and landline telephones data, and that the burglars had left no “forensic trace”.
He said the burglary was arranged during Friday night meetings at The Castle pub on Pentonville Road in Islington.
Previously John Collins, 75, of Bletsoe Walk, Islington; Daniel Jones, 58, of Park Avenue, Enfield; Terry Perkins, 67, of Heene Road, Enfield and Brian Reader, 76, of Dartford Road, Dartford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. They will be sentenced at a later date.
The trial continues.