Daily Express

Hatton thief’s ‘ months to live’ after jail stroke

- By John Twomey

HATTON Garden heist ringleader Brian Reader may only have months to live after suffering a stroke in jail, a court heard yesterday.

The veteran crook was taken to hospital from Britain’s most secure prison under an armed police escort last month.

Scotland Yard marksmen – six carrying sub- machine guns – stood guard over the 77- yearold as he was treated in a critical- care unit.


Reader is now back in jail where, despite being unable to walk, almost completely deaf and blind in one eye, he is still rated as a category- A prisoner and an escape risk.

Details of his health emerged yesterday at the opening of a three- day sentencing hearing at London’s Woolwich Crown Court.

Reader was too ill to attend a video link from London’s Belmarsh jail, and the hearing started without him.

He and six others – dubbed the Diamond Wheezers because of their advanced ages – are due to be sentenced over the Reader led the ageing gang that drilled into the vault, right £ 14million safety- deposit heist. James Scobie, QC, representi­ng Reader, said he believes the villain is not getting the medical treatment he needs.

His stroke followed two falls in prison, the court heard. In addition there was a possibly cancerous growth on his face. “The prognosis is poor,” said Mr Scobie. “It may well be he doesn’t have many more months to live. He is a very sick, old man.”

The gang faces long jail terms when they are sentenced by Judge Christophe­r Kinch, QC, tomorrow. Reader, of Dartford, Kent, who has already been treated for prostate cancer, is likely to be sentenced later this month. Over the Easter Bank holiday last year they escaped with gems, cash and valuables after breaking into the vault.

Using a heavy- duty drill they bored through a concrete wall before ransacking 73 boxes.

It was Britain’s biggest burglary.

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