Hatton Garden heist ringleader Brian 'The Guvnor' Reader dies aged 84 after earning more than £200m from criminal raids

23 April 2024, 15:53 | Updated: 23 April 2024, 16:43

Brian 'The Guvnor' Reader has died aged 84
Brian 'The Guvnor' Reader has died aged 84. Picture: PA/Alamy

By Asher McShane

The mastermind behind the Hatton Garden heist Brian 'The Guvnor' Reader has died at the age of 84.

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The gangster made more than £200 million from a string of raids including the audacious drilling into the underground jewellery depository in Hatton Garden over the four-day weekend of the April 2015 bank robbery.

He was also behind the 1983 Brink's-Mat robbery - one of the largest robberies in British criminal history, with £26m in gold bullion diamonds and cash stolen from a warehouse in London. Most of the stolen loot was never recovered.

Reader's family are thought to have tried to keep his death a secret but his death certificate said he passed away in September 2023 at his home in Dartford, Kent.

It came after a battle with colon and prostate cancer.

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The tunnel leading into the vault at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London
The tunnel leading into the vault at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London. Picture: Alamy

Reader was jailed for six years and three months after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

He was released early in 2018 after an ongoing battle with his health, which included several strokes.

In 2016, he was moved from Belmarsh prison to an intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Woolwich.

A judge went on to rule that he was too unwell to return to prison for failing to pay back his cut of the £13.7million bank raid.

He had paid back just six per cent of his £6.6million.

The group were hit with one of the biggest confiscation orders in Scotland Yard's history.  

They were said to have entered through the lift shaft before drilling a hole through the vault walls.

The theft was investigated by the Met's Flying Squad - a branch of the Specialist, Organised and Economic Crime Command.

It has been the subject of three films, including King of Thieves in 2018, which starred Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent and Michael Gambon.